Shares of online travel agency Expedia, Inc. (EXPE) are giving back the 1.2 percent gains that it posted during regular trading hours in extended trading following an earnings report that showed revenues perked in the first quarter on acquisitions and gross bookings, but one-time items pushed the company into a deeper loss. Excluding those special items, however, Expedia beat analyst expectations.
Expedia has leading brands like Hotels.com and discount travel website Hotwire, as well as 61.6-percent ownership of hotel metasearch company trivago GmbH (which it acquired in March) under its umbrella. The trivago acquisition cost Expedia $57 million in stock-based compensation and another $10 million in additional expenses in the first quarter.
For the quarter, the Bellevue, Washington-based company reported a 24 percent spike in revenue to $1.01 billion, from $816.49 million in the year prior quarter. Net loss, including legal reserve, depreciation expenses and more, rose to $104.2 million, or 77 cents per share, compared to a loss of $3.3 million, or 2 cents per share, in the first quarter last year. Excluding items, Expedia would have earned $35.3 million, or 25 cents per share, versus $36.9 million, or 26 cents per share, in the year prior quarter.
Wall Street estimates, which generally do not include special items, came in at EPS of 23 cents on revenue of $967.5 million.
Gross bookings at the world’s biggest online travel company increased by 16 percent, including a 28 percent rise in hotel room bookings and 9 percent increase in airline tickets. Hotels accounted for 70 percent of total revenue. Total bookings in the U.S. grew by 7 percent while international bookings were 30 percent higher in the first quarter.
In addition to its recent acquisition of trivago GmbH, in April 2012 Expedia bought VIA Travel, the biggest travel management company in the Nordic region. VIA added about 4 percent to total bookings, according to the company in today’s release.
Offsetting the gains was a 32 percent increase in selling and marketing expenses, which swelled to $492 million in Q1 2013 from $373 million in Q1 2012, driven by a $99 million increase in direct costs. Technology and content spend as well as general and administrative expenses were higher by 32 percent and 19 percent, respectively.
So far in 2013, Expedia has bought-back 2 million shares for an aggregate cost of $127 million.
Shares of Expedia have delivered stellar results in the past year, more than doubling in value in 52 weeks. In 2013, shares are ahead by about 5.5 percent, closing regular trading on Thursday at $64.97. After-hours trading is erasing most of the gains from the year with shares falling below $62 each after the earning report.
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