Expedia profit beats forecasts as bookings increase

NEW YORK (BestGrowthStock) – Online travel agency Expedia Inc (EXPE.O: ) on Thursday reported quarterly profits that beat forecasts as air and hotel bookings increased.

The largest online travel agency said third-quarter net income rose to $176.6 million, or 62 cents per share, compared with $117 million, or 40 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding one-time items, Expedia said it earned 66 cents per share, compared with analysts’ average estimate of 58 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The total value of Expedia’s bookings rose 17 percent in the quarter from a year ago to $6.89 billion. Domestic bookings rose by 16 percent and international bookings gained 17 percent.

Gross bookings were driven by a 14 percent increase in transactions, a 9 percent rise in average air fares and a 4 percent increase in hotel average daily rates, the company said.

Expedia was the first of the three publicly traded online travel agencies to report its second-quarter earnings. Priceline (PCLN.O: ) and Orbitz Worldwide (OWW.N: ) are the other two companies.

The travel industry has suffered from the economic downturn and online travel companies responded by slashing fees and offering promotions to bolster bookings.

Shares of Expedia closed up 14 cents at $29.14 on the Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Lynn Adler in New York and Kyle Peterson in Chicago; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

Expedia profit beats forecasts as bookings increase