UPDATE 2-TripAdvisor dismisses Ernst & Young, appoints KPMG
* 4th-quarter adjusted profit $0.21/share, in line with estimate
* Revenue from subscription business rises 53 pct
* Revenue from click-based ads rises 17 pct
By Rohit T. K.
Feb 11 (Reuters) - Online travel planning company TripAdvisor Inc said it had dismissed Ernst & Young as its auditor and appointed KPMG, effective immediately, but gave no reason for the change.
The company said there were no disagreements with E&Y that would have merited mention in the company's financial statements for the previous two years.
"Liberty Interactive Corp is a KPMG client and since Liberty now consolidates TripAdvisor we felt it would be more efficient to use the same audit firm," Chief Financial Officer Julie Bradley told Reuters.
Liberty is TripAdvisor's largest shareholder with a 14.05 percent stake as of Oct. 10.
Shares of TripAdvisor, which also reported stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter revenue, were down about 2 percent in extended trading on Tuesday.
The company said revenue from its subscription business rose 53 percent to $35.7 million in the quarter ended Dec. 31.
Revenue from click-based advertising rose 17 percent to $144.4 million while revenue from display-based advertising rose 46 percent to $32.5 million.
The TripAdvisor websites attracted more than 2 billion unique visitors in 2013, the company said.
The company, spun off from Expedia Inc in 2011, aggregates reviews and opinions about destinations and accommodations and depends on ads and subscriptions for most of its revenue.
The company also gets revenue from online booking sites that are accessible through tripadvisor.com. Revenue from Expedia rose 17 percent to $46.4 million in the quarter.
Expedia, which reported results on Feb. 6, said air ticket volumes and its business from metasearch sites such as TripAdvisor kept improving.
TripAdvisor moved in June 2013 to a new 'meta search' function that aggregates hotel room prices and availability on the company's own web page, minimizing the traveler's need to click through and compare multiple travel sites to make a booking.
Total revenue rose to $212.7 million for the quarter from $169.4 million a year earlier, beating the average analyst estimate of $205.5 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Net profit fell to $20.3 million, or 14 cents per share, from $33.6 million, or 23 cents per share.
Adjusted profit was $30.5 million, or 21 cents per share, in line with the average estimate.
TripAdvisor's shares were trading at $82.75 after the bell. They closed at $84.20 on the Nasdaq on Tuesday.
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