Expedia Reaches Highest Since 2005 After Quarterly Profit

Expedia Inc. (EXPE), an online-travel company, rose to the highest level since at least 2005 after first-quarter profit and revenue topped analysts’ estimates, driven by growth in the Hotels.com unit.

Expedia soared 24 percent to $40.31 in New York, the highest closing price since at least July 2005. The Bellevue, Washington-based company’s stock was the best performer in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

Hotels.com, which markets hotel rooms online, helped drive a 24 percent jump in global room-nights for Expedia during the period, said Dara Khosrowshahi, the parent company’s chief executive officer.

“We expect more progress going forward,” Khosrowshahi said on a conference call yesterday. “We’re certainly not counting on Hotels.com-like results, although we would be pleased as punch if we got them.”

First-quarter profit excluding certain items was 26 cents a share, the company said yesterday in a statement. That topped the average estimate of 14 cents from analysts in a Bloomberg survey. Adjusted profit, which excludes the TripAdvisor business spun off in December, rose 61 percent to $36.9 million.

Revenue climbed 12 percent to $816.5 million, topping analysts’ average estimate of $790.1 million.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 24 percent to $102 million, the company said.

Expedia had a net loss of $3.3 million, or 2 cents a share, compared with net income of $52 million, or 37 cents, a year earlier.

“We had previously assumed the hotel improvements at Expedia would not impact results meaningfully until the second half and investment spending would continue to weigh on adjusted EBITDA growth,” said Lloyd Walmsley, an analyst with Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., in a note to clients today. “Clearly things are improving faster than we anticipated on the booking side.” Walmsley rates the shares hold.

To contact the reporter on this story: Niamh Ring in New York at nring@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net

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