China's largest online travel agency Ctrip.com poised for 30% pop, predicts Barron's weekly

The Harbin Ice and Snow World is a popular travel destination in China.
The Harbin Ice and Snow World is a popular travel destination in China. PHOTO: ACCESS CHINA TRAVEL

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Shares of Chinese online travel agency Ctrip.com International could gain as much as 30 per cent this year as tail winds from the country's burgeoning travel industry spur rapid earnings growth, Barron's said.

The stock, which trades on Nasdaq, plummeted 20 per cent in recent months due to China's economic turbulence and a recent merger with money-losing peer Qunar. But Ctrip's dominant position in the country's travel industry is likely to produce "rapid gains in revenues and profit margins for years to come", the publication said.

Even as growth in China's broader economy drops to the slowest pace since the 2009 recession, its travel industry is booming, growing 19 per cent last year, Barron's said. "China's online travel market could top America's by the end of the decade," the magazine said.