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Expedia posts smaller losses as pandemic’s travel shutdown continues; stock gains

EARNINGS RESULTS

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Expedia (EXPE) reported fiscal third-quarter losses of $221 million, or $1.56 a share, down from net income of $2.71 a share a year ago. After adjusting for stock-based compensation, restructuring charges and other costs, the company reported losses of 22 cents a share, down from earnings of $3.38 a share a year ago. Sales totaled $1.5 billion, down from $3.56 billion a year ago.

While the declines remain stark, they were better than expected and improved from the previous quarter, when Expedia posted a loss of more than half a billion dollars over three months. Analysts on average projected adjusted losses of 79 cents a share on sales of $1.39 billion, according to FactSet.

“Travel demand continued to be significantly impacted by the virus in the third quarter, but the increased travel in the quarter, along with continued progress on our cost initiatives, led to improved financial results,” Chief Executive Peter Kern said in a statement Wednesday. “As the last several weeks have demonstrated, the travel industry and the world still face a prolonged and bumpy path to recovery, with increasing COVID-19 cases and uncertainty around vaccine and therapeutic timelines.”

Collectively, Expedia has lost almost $950 million so far this year, as the COVID-19 pandemic has decimated the travel industry, after collecting profit of more than $750 million in the first nine months of last year. Analysts expect Expedia to post a loss in the fourth quarter as well, as Americans skip holiday travel amid continuing spread of the coronavirus; Expedia did not provide a forecast.

Shares gained more than 4% in after-hours trading Wednesday, following a 0.3% decline to $98.50 in the regular trading session. The stock has declined 8.9% so far this year, as the S&P 500 index (SPX) has gained 4.3%.

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