Expedia, the world's largest Internet travel agency, said Friday that it will repurchase as many as 30 million shares in a tender offer, sending its stock up the most since its initial public offering in July 2005. Two ratings services lowered their outlook on the debt of the Bellevue company.

Shares of Expedia closed up $1.84, or 9.9 percent, at $20.46. Before Friday, the company's stock had fallen 22 percent this year.

Expedia, which was spun off from media billionaire Barry Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp, faces competition from other online travel agencies and the Web sites of hotels and airlines, which are benefiting from strong demand.

Expedia purchased 20 million shares from May through July. The company issued $500 million in bonds to help pay for the buyback.

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