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Expedia’s stock tumbles 12% on worse-than-expected gross bookings and FCF By Investing.com

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© Reuters. Expedia’s (EXPE) stock tumbles 12% on worse-than-expected gross bookings and FCF

(Updated – February 9, 2024 12:47 PM EST)

Expedia (NASDAQ:) reported better-than-expected FQ4 earnings and revenue but missed expectations for gross bookings and free cash flow.

The stock plummeted 12% in after-hours trading Thursday.

For the fourth quarter, the travel technology company posted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.72, topping the consensus estimate of $1.67. The company’s revenue came in at $2.89 billion, slightly surpassing the projected $2.87 billion.

Expedia generated $1.96 billion in retail revenue, marking a 4.5% year-over-year increase, although it fell short of the expected $2.01 billion. Meanwhile, its business-to-business (B2B) segment saw a substantial 28% YoY growth, bringing in $864 million and exceeding the anticipated $809.7 million.

The firm reported a negative free cash flow of $415 million for Q4, a 16% increase in cash burn compared to the previous year, and significantly worse than the estimated negative $192.6 million.

Furthermore, gross bookings amounted to $21.67 billion, missing the $22 billion target set by analysts.

The company said it repurchased over 19 million shares, amounting to a record investment of $2 billion in share buybacks throughout 2023.

Expedia Group has named Ariane Gorin as its new CEO, starting May 13, 2024. She will take over from Peter Kern, who has led the company since 2020. Kern will remain involved as Vice Chairman and Board member after his tenure as CEO ends.

“We delivered on our full-year guidance and drove record results, all while completing a massive transformation and navigating the inherent volatility that comes with that. Our work is finally starting to deliver results, and we are in the best place we’ve ever been technologically,” said Peter Kern, Vice Chairman and CEO of Expedia Group.

Besides its financial results, Expedia has unveiled its CEO transition plan, naming Ariane Gorin as its new Chief Executive, starting May 13, 2024.

She will take over from Peter Kern, who has led the company since 2020. Kern will remain involved as Vice Chairman and Board member after his tenure as CEO ends.

Reacting to the report, analysts at Jefferies lowered the price target for EXPE to $150.00 from $160.00 per share, maintaining a hold rating on the stock.

They said EXPE’s decision to lower FY24 bookings guidance and announce a CEO transition reduces their confidence in the company’s turnaround.

“Bookings guidance for 1Q also implies a sequential deceleration and back-half wtd growth, a cadence that arguably increases downside risk given industry growth could slow throughout the yr (our view),” wrote the analysts in a note. “We believe EXPE is once again a show-me story and envision the stock being rangebound until growth re-accelerates.”



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