Giving a peek into how travel has continued to rebound from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Booking Holdings Inc. said Wednesday that its third-quarter revenue more than doubled from the previous quarter and that room nights booked rose 44% year over year.
Shares of Booking
whose brands include Booking.com, Kayak and Priceline, rose as high as 6.6% after hours, after falling 0.75% in the regular session to close at $2,435.33.
“We are encouraged by the signs of recovery we saw in many parts of the
world in the third quarter,” Chief Executive Glenn Fogel said in a news release.
On the company’s earnings call, he and Chief Financial Officer David Goulden cited strength in European travel as a reason for Booking’s strong performance in the quarter, though they pointed to rising COVID case counts in some parts of Europe as a reason for their uncertainty about the fourth quarter. Asia was still the least-recovered region, the executives said, though they also said there are some encouraging signs there.
Goulden did not give specifics around a fourth-quarter forecast, but said he expects a “sequential revenue decline” because of continued uncertainty around rising cases and winter travel. He also said that because of pent-up demand, the third quarter was “almost artificially strong,” and that “it’s all timing and all mechanics, but think of it as a Q4 comparing a Q3 on steroids.”
Fogel added: “We reiterate our strong belief that our industry’s full recovery will be hastened by everyone getting vaccinated.”
The online-travel company reported third-quarter net income of $769 million, or $18.60 a share, compared with $801 million, or $19.49 a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings were $1.6 billion, or $33.70 a share, adjusted for $1 billion in losses on equity securities and other costs. Revenue rose to $4.7 billion from $2.6 billion in the year-ago quarter.
Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast adjusted earnings of $1.3 billion, or $33.01 a share, on revenue of $4.3 billion.
Booking’s stock has risen 9% year to date, and is up nearly 42% over the past 52 weeks. The S&P 500 Index
has seen a 23% increase so far this year, and is up about 34% over the past year.