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Expedia Slips To Loss, But Tops Estimate; Stock Up 16%


Online travel company Expedia Inc. (EXPE), Thursday reported a slip to a loss in the first quarter due mainly to a loss from discontinued operations and other expenses, offsetting a double-digit growth in revenue. Adjusted profit, which excludes one-time items, for the quarter improved from last year and came in ahead of Street estimates. Expedia shares jumped 16 percent in after-hours trade on the Nasdaq, following the announcement of financial results.

Expedia said its total costs for the 2012 quarter increased 12 percent from last year, as selling and other costs escalated. Results for the 2012 quarter also included a loss from discontinued operations of $24 million.

Expedia, which competes with Priceline.com Inc. (PCLN) and Orbitz Worldwide Inc. (OWW), said quarterly revenue meanwhile rose 12 percent from last year.

Gross bookings for the first quarter 2012 rose 15 percent from last year, aided mainly by a 24 percent growth in hotel room nights on robust growth at all leisure brands except Expedia.

Domestic bookings for the quarter grew 16 percent from last year and international bookings were up 14 percent.

Expedia said that average daily room rates for the quarter were flat compared to last year. Average airfares for the quarter meanwhile rose 7 percent from last year, and air tickets sold climbed 5 percent.

Worldwide hotel revenue rose 18 percent for the quarter. Expedia said hotel accounted for 70 percent of total worldwide revenue in the first quarter 2012, air accounted for 11 percent, and all other revenue sources accounted for the rest.

Worldwide air revenue slid 17 percent for the quarter. All other revenue increased 15 percent for the quarter.

Belllevue, Washington-based Expedia reported first-quarter net loss of $3.28 million or $0.02 per share, compared to net income of $52.04 million or $0.37 per share last year.

Excluding items, adjusted earnings for the quarter were $36.9 million or $0.26 per share, compared to $22.8 million or $0.16 a year ago.

On average, 22 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $0.15 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Revenue for the quarter was $816.5 million, compared to $727.8 million in the prior year. Twenty analysts estimated revenue of $790.91 million for the quarter.

Expedia declared a cash dividend of $0.09 per share of outstanding common stock to be paid to stockholders of record as of May 30, with a payment date of June 19.

EXPE closed Thursday at $32.63, up 0.31 or 0.96%, on a volume of 5.9 million shares on the Nasdaq. In after hours, the stock gained $5.37 or 16.46%. In the past year, the stock has ranged between $27.28 - $65.78.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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