* Fourth quarter adj profit 63 cents vs estimate 65 cents
* Revenue tops analysts' average estimate
* Shares up in extended trading
Feb 5 Online travel agency Expedia
reported a lower quarterly profit on Tuesday due to higher
expenses, but revenue topped expectations as hotel and
air-travel bookings rose.
Shares of Expedia were up more than 4 percent in extended
trading after the bell from their $67.50 close on Nasdaq.
"The results overall were very strong and indicative of a
company that's still got some pretty strong organic tailwinds,"
said Dan Kurnos, an analyst with Benchmark Company.
Expedia, whose brands include Hotels.com and Hotwire, has
been spending on technology systems and international expansion
to better compete against rivals like Priceline.com.
The company said it expected adjusted earnings before
interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization to rise this
year, but cautioned that marketing spending on variable channels
and emerging markets would also ramp up.
"We expect competitive intensity to increase" in 2013, Chief
Executive Dara Khosrowshahi told a conference call with
Earnings in the fourth quarter totaled $6.7 million, or 5
cents a share, down from $70.3 million, or 51 cents a share, a
Adjusted for items such as legal reserves and stock-based
compensation, quarterly profit was $88.9 million, or 63 cents a
share, the company said. Analysts on average expected 65 cents a
share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue rose 24 percent to $974.9 million, better than the
$930.7 million analysts had forecast. International revenue
jumped 35 percent while domestic revenue increased 15 percent in
the fourth quarter.
Expenses rose on various fronts as selling and marketing
costs climbed 25 percent to $393.6 million, while technology and
content costs were up 31 percent to $134.3 million. General and
administrative expenses rose 12 percent to $98.4 million.
Gross bookings rose 19 percent in the fourth quarter, driven
by a 33 percent rise in hotel room nights and a 12 percent
increase in air-ticket business.