Expedia 3Q profit beats Wall Street expectations

BELLEVUE, Wash. -- Online travel agency Expedia Inc.'s third-quarter net income fell 18 percent, but its adjusted profit beat expectations. The company's shares rose in after-hours trading Thursday.

The shares fell 94 cents in regular trading, closing at $51.33. In about an hour of extended trading, they jumped $8.36, or 16.3 percent, to $59.61. The shares were up 77 percent for the year at the closing bell.

Expedia's core business is selling hotel stays through sites including Expedia and Hotels.com. Strong bookings in Europe, Asia and North America helped drive the company's revenue up by 17 percent.

The company booked 27 percent more hotel rooms than a year ago, although average room rates were lower and Expedia's revenue for each night booked fell 6 percent.

Expedia sold 11 percent more airline tickets than a year ago through sites including Hotwire, but like hotels, each ticket was less valuable. Revenue per ticket shrunk by 19 percent.

But costs rose, too. Spending on technology and content jumped 27 percent as the company hired more people to handle technology work for the Expedia brand and other functions.

Net income fell to $171.5 million, or $1.21 per share, from $209.5 million, or $1.50 per share, a year earlier, when results were helped by businesses that Expedia no longer owns.

But the company said that excluding the cost of stock-based compensation and other items, profit from its continuing operations came to $188 million, or $1.32 per share, up from $180.5 million, or $1.28 per share, a year ago.

Analysts, who usually exclude such items, expected $1.26 per share, according to a survey by FactSet.

Revenue rose to $1.20 billion from $1.02 billion, beating analysts' forecast of $1.17 billion.