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JPMorgan Declares Ctrip The Winner Of China's Travel Market Consolidation International, Ltd. NASDAQ:CTRP, Alibaba NYSE:BABA - JPMorgan Declares Ctrip The Winner Of China's Travel Market Consolidation

Analysts at JPMorgan, led by Hong Kong-based internet analyst Alex Yao, initiated coverage of China-based internet companies.

While a lot of investor attention is focused on mega-cap names such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE: BABA), which is valued at nearly $250 billion, investors shouldn't necessarily ignore the online travel space. With that said, Yao named International, Ltd. (ADR) (NASDAQ: CTRP) his top pick within the online travel market.

According to Yao, Ctrip is "well on track" to achieve its longer-term GMV (gross merchandise volume) of RMB 1.2 trillion (around $200 billion) to 1.4 trillion by 2020, which implies a five-year compounded annual growth rate of 30 percent.

Yao continued that Ctrip's recent strategic investment in eLong and its acquisition of Qunar deepens its portfolio and offerings. Specifically, both eLong and Qunar have already shared their product inventories which targets difference customer demographics.

Finally, the analyst acknowledged there are short-term headwinds stemming from potential boycott among large airlines over pricing disputes. However, Ctrip acquired a $463 million stake in China Eastern Airlines, which could prevent future similar issues from stemming again.

Over the longer term, a margin recovery is "well on track," and online travel agencies, especially Ctrip, will play an "important role" in air ticket distribution and bundled sale packages could "largely offset" any impact from commission deals.

Yao initiated coverage of the stock with an Overweight rating and $53 price target.

Shares were trading flat on the day at time of writing at $47.34.

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