(Bloomberg) -- Expedia Group Inc. shares jumped after the online travel agent forecast profit ahead of analysts’ expectations.
Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, will grow 10 percent to 15 percent in 2019, Chief Financial Officer Alan Pickerill said on a conference call Thursday. Analysts were projecting an increase of 9 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The stock gained more than 7 percent in extended trading after closing at $127.87 in New York. Analysts were looking for signs that Expedia’s performance would justify a runaway share price so far this year. The stock was up about 14 percent in 2019 through the end of regular trading on Thursday.
Expedia’s fourth-quarter results also beat Wall Street estimates. Profit excluding some costs was $1.24 per share, exceeding the average analyst forecast for $1.06. Revenue rose 10 percent to $2.56 billion. Analysts had predicted revenue of $2.54 billion.
Still, the growth of Expedia’s home rental service slowed. In the fourth quarter, revenue from HomeAway rose 20 percent, the slowest rate of the year. Gross bookings at HomeAway grew 15 percent versus a year earlier. That was down from 47 percent growth in the fourth quarter of 2017. In 2015, Expedia spent $3.9 billion buying HomeAway to compete with rival Airbnb Inc.
Expedia is also taking steps to simplify the company’s complex ownership structure and boost its valuation. Last week, the company offered to acquire Liberty Expedia in a stock swap, streamlining Expedia’s super-voting structure that’s long been divided between two 77-year-old billionaire media moguls: John Malone and Barry Diller. The deal is still being discussed.
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