Sell TripAdvisor on increasing competition, earnings risk

A mascot of TripAdvisor is seen at its display at a trade fair.
Axel Schmidt | Reuters

Cowen lowered its rating for TripAdvisor to underperform from market perform, saying the company's earnings results will come in below expectations in the coming year.

"We are downgrading TRIP … and lowering our price target … on our view that 'Meta Wars' will drive profit declines as TRIP invests in brand ads to stop share losses," analyst Kevin Kopelman wrote in a note to clients Wednesday. The company's "profit expectations are too high ahead of pending brand ad investment."

The analyst's "Meta Wars" term refers to the increasing competition from internet companies in the travel meta-search or bookings aggregation market.