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All Things D

TripAdvisor CEO Says Wall Street Underestimates Its Value Now That It's Flying Solo

Stephen Kaufer got the idea for TripAdvisor more than a decade ago, after planning a trip to Mexico and having a difficult time knowing which accommodations his family would enjoy most.

As the father of eight kids — now all between the ages of 12 and 21 — he knows a thing or two about the importance of finding the perfect place. (Note: Kaufer delicately calls family trips “adventures,” while getaways with his wife are “vacations.”)

Since then, TripAdvisor has become the online go-to destination for reviews of hotels from Barbados to bed-and-breakfasts in New York City.

In 2004, Kaufer sold the company to IAC for $210 million, setting off a somewhat complicated operating journey. A year later, TripAdvisor spun out of IAC as part of Expedia. It remained a division within the online travel agency until last month, when it broke off into a independent publicly held company.

Today, the Newton, Mass.-based company has 1,100 employees, attracts more than 50 million unique visitors and has published more than 60 million reviews. It trades on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “TRIP,” while Expedia continues to trade under the symbol “EXPE.”…