Published May 01, 2014
Expedia Inc.'s (EXPE) revenue jumped nearly 19% in the first quarter as the online travel site reported continued growth in bookings as well as advertising.
Shares of the company rose about 1% in after-hours trading as earnings and revenue beat analysts' expectations.
Gross bookings in the first quarter increased 29%, driven mainly by air ticket and room night growth.
Amid intense competition of the online travel industry, Expedia joined forces with rival Travelocity last year to share the load on searches, bookings and promotion. Brand Expedia's hotel and air products were launched on Travelocity's U.S. website as part of a marketing agreement.
Expedia also extended its credit card partnership with Citi to reward travelers.
Still, competitive pressure remains. Google Inc. (GOOGL), for example, has made bold steps into the world of hotel room booking, adding photos and reviews to its listings and promoting more aggressively its "hotel-price ads." The Mountain View, Calif., Web giant this month also reached a licensing deal that will give it access to technology from hotel-booking software startup Room 77.
Travel and tourism spending totaled $450 billion last year in the U.S., and it is expected to grow 3.5% this year, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council.
For the most recent quarter, which ended March 31, the company posted losses of $14.3 million, or 11 cents a share, narrower than the year-ago loss of $104.2 million, or 77 cents a share. Last year's figures included acquisition costs.
Excluding special items, adjusted per-share earnings from continuing operations fell to 16 cents from 25 cents.
Overall revenue increased to $1.2 billion from $1.01 billion, because of growth in hotel room nights as well as revenue from advertising and media as well as air ticket sales.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had projected earnings of 15 cents a share and revenue of $1.18 billion.
Selling and marketing expenses rose 26%, while costs for technology and content increased 12%.