Booking Holdings Beats Estimates - and Warns of Coronavirus Impact on Travel

Booking Holdings, parent of airline-booking and restaurant-reservation services, reported stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and revenue. But it also warned that the coronavirus would hurt its first quarter.
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Booking Holdings  (BKNG) - Get Report, parent of airline-booking websites like priceline.com and kayak.com and the restaurant-reservation service opentable.com, reported fourth-quarter earnings per share doubled as revenue advanced 3.9%.

Both figures were stronger than Wall Street analysts had estimated.

At the same time, the company warned investors and analysts that the "coronavirus has had a significant and negative impact across our business during the first quarter." 

And it said it can’t predict “where, and to what degree, outbreaks of the coronavirus will disrupt travel patterns.”

In the fourth quarter the Norwalk, Conn., company earned $27.75 a share compared with $13.86 in the year-earlier quarter. The latest adjusted earnings were $23.30 a share.

Revenue reached fell to $3.34 billion from $3.21 billion.

A survey of analysts by FactSet produced consensus estimates of profit of $21 a share, or an adjusted $22.04, on revenue of $3.28 billion.

Regarding the outlook, Booking Holdings said its first-quarter guidance is based on "trends observed in the quarter so far and considers the continued negative impact of the coronavirus. 

"The guidance ranges for the first quarter are wider than typically provided given the high level of uncertainty in forecasting the coronavirus and its associated impact on the company and the travel industry generally."

The company sees first-quarter net income ranging $7.95 to $8.55 a share, or an adjusted $9.05 to $9.65. 

The FactSet survey is looking for earnings of $10.37 a share, or an adjusted $11.66.

Booking Holdings sees revenue in Q1 declining 3% to 7% from the year-earlier quarter's $2.84 billion. That would peg revenue at $2.64 billion to $2.75 billion.

FactSet's survey was looking for $2.98 billion.

At last check Booking Holdings shares were trading down 1.2%. They closed the regular session on Wednesday 2.8% lower at $1,678.20.

In 2020 through the close of the regular session, Booking Holdings shares were off 18%. They touched a year high $2,094 on Jan. 10.