Expedia Earnings Show Downturn In Home Rentals

Expedia saw its shares get a boost after its forecast profit was ahead of analysts’ expectations.

Chief Financial Officer Alan Pickerill revealed on a conference call on Thursday (Feb. 7) that adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) will grow 10 percent to 15 percent this year, according to Bloomberg. Analysts had projected an increase of 9 percent.

As a result, Expedia's stock increased more than 7 percent in after-hours trading at $127.87 in New York. The stock was up about 14 percent so far this year.

In addition, the company's Q4 results beat Wall Street estimates. Profit, excluding some costs, was $1.24 per share, more than the average analyst forecast for $1.06. Revenue rose 10 percent to $2.56 billion, while analysts had predicted revenue of $2.54 billion.

It wasn't all good news, though. Data showed that the growth of Expedia’s home rental service slowed down in the Q4, with revenue from HomeAway rising 20 percent — the slowest rate of the year. The report also showed that gross bookings at HomeAway grew 15 percent, down from 47 percent growth in the Q4 of 2017.

Expedia acquired HomeAway in 2015, and has spent the last three years improving the site’s technology, and increasing its online offerings. Yet, while HomeAway has 1.7 million bookable online listings, rival Booking Holdings — formerly Priceline — and Airbnb both have around 5 million.

Last year, Expedia made strides to take on competitor Airbnb through the acquisitions of startups Pillow and ApartmentJet.

Expedia Group CEO Mark Okerstrom said at the time that the firms provide managers and owners of buildings with “control and transparency” when it comes to short-term rentals. Pillow also allows managers and owners of apartment buildings to work with their tenants in renting apartments on a short-term basis, while ApartmentJet, by contrast, enables operators and owners to rent out units that are not occupied.



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