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Expedia Reports Strong Earnings Gains

Revenue rose 7% in the fourth quarter, and net income jumped more than fourfold.
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Expedia Group  (EXPE) - Get Free Report shares soared after the online travel company reported strong earnings for the fourth quarter.

Revenue rose 7% in the quarter to $2.75 billion from $2.56 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Net income climbed to $76 million, or 52 cents a share, from $17 million, or 11 cents a share.

Gross bookings increased 6% to $23.25 billion, and stayed lodging room nights gained 11%.

“Since our management change in December we have re-focused the company on our core operations, which had suffered for much of 2019,” Expedia Chairman Barry Diller and Vice Chairman Peter Kern said in a statement.

The executives were referring to the departures of CEO Mark Okerstrom and CFO Alan Pickerill. Diller has filled Okerstrom’s role. And chief strategy officer Eric Hart is acting CFO.

“We have rapidly moved to simplify how we operate and increase efficiency. These changes helped us exceed the high-end of our revised guidance range in 2019 and will contribute to accelerated profit growth in our underlying business in 2020,” Diller and Kern said in the statement.

They aim for a $300 million to $500 million rate of cost savings. “We are not providing a specific guidance range, given uncertainty on how much cost savings we’ll recognize this year and the full effect of coronavirus,” the duo said. In any case, they forecast double-digit adjusted EBITDA growth for 2020.

Morningstar analyst Dan Wasiolek puts fair value at $170 for Expedia stock. “Although it is likely to require some patience, Expedia, at just over 8 times 2020 EBITDA (versus the 10 to 12 range during 2015-18), is trading at an attractive margin of safety for long-term investors,” he wrote in a report Wednesday.

“We believe most current headwinds (Google competition, international/rental/cloud investments, and past brand integration disruption) are transitory and that the company’s network advantage remains intact.”

Expedia shares stood at $123.10 in after-hours trading, up 11.31% from Thursday’s close. The stock slid 0.34% during the regular session.