TripAdvisor Profit Advances 19% on Advertising Revenue Gains

TripAdvisor Inc., the online travel-recommendation service spun off from Expedia Inc. in December, said fourth-quarter profit rose 19 percent as advertising revenue rose.

Net income climbed to $22 million, or 16 cents a share, from $18.4 million, or 14 cents, a year earlier, the Newton, Massachusetts-based company said today in its first quarterly report as an independent company. Revenue jumped 30 percent to $137.8 million.

Expedia separated TripAdvisor from its main online travel agency to let shareholders own stakes directly in faster-growing TripAdvisor. Expedia, which reports fourth-quarter results tomorrow, has struggled to compete with Priceline Inc.’s international growth, while advertising revenue at TripAdvisor has been rising.

In the fourth quarter, $37.5 million, or 27 percent of TripAdvisor revenue, came from Expedia. That compared with $36.5 million, or 34 percent, a year earlier.

TripAdvisor, which has 19 travel and advertising brands, operates in 30 countries and has 50 million users a month visiting the site to research and plan trips, according to company figures.

John Malone’s Liberty Media Corp. is the biggest shareholder in Expedia and TripAdvisor, owning about 22 percent of each. The spinoff has worked for Malone so far. TripAdvisor has gained 25 percent since it first started trading on Dec. 7, while Expedia has jumped 22 percent. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has risen 7.1 percent.

TripAdvisor fell 1.4 percent to $34.34 at the close in New York, before the release of the financial report today.