TripAdvisor earnings Q3 2017

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TripAdvisor shares fell sharply after the company posted hotel revenue that missed Wall Street expectations Monday.

Here’s how the company did compared with what the Street expected:

  • EPS: 36 cents vs. 35 cents expected, according to Thomson Reuters
  • Overall revenue: $439 million vs. $451.8 million expected, according to Thomson Reuters
  • Hotel revenue: $312 million vs. $326.2 million expected, according to StreetAccount

In the year-ago quarter, TripAdvisor reported adjusted earnings per share of 53 cents a share on $421 million in revenue.

TripAdvisor’s stock plummeted more than 18 percent in early trading Tuesday.

TripAdvisor shares have been on a steady slide since late last year, approaching lows not seen since 2012. The stock has lost 16 percent so far in 2017, and has fallen more than 38 percent in the past 12 months.

“Re-igniting near-term hotel growth has been more difficult than expected,” Chief Financial Officer Ernst Teunissen said in a statement.

Teunissen added that the company continues to exercise “prudent expense management” while making a “significant investment in television advertising.”

In the third quarter, TripAdvisor reported a free cash-flow deficit of $150 million, compared with $109 million a year ago. Revenue per hotel shopper fell 11 percent, and hotel revenue declined 3 percent, despite 26 percent growth in attraction, vacation rental, and restaurant bookings.

TripAdvisor has a robust and growing travel audience, but analysts aren’t confident it will translate to revenue.

The company launched an aggressive ad campaign, investing $42 million for a TV campaign in the third quarter, bringing the year’s total to $58 million. The company had hoped the ads would encourage broader use of their hotel bookings segment.

“When they come and see the TV ad, they are more likely to book, more likely to go through hotel shopping and consummate the experience,” CEO Stephen Kaufer said during the company’s quarterly conference call.

Three months into the campaign, the company reported double declining revenue from hotel shoppers and hotel revenue overall. Executives remain hopeful that the campaigns will work further down the line.

Despite setbacks in hotel revenue, the travel review and aggregation company did report 17 percent growth in its already expansive online community and increased mobile app traffic and revenue. Last month, TripAdvisor entered a deal with SnapChat that allows users to book hotels with a tap.

While investors likely see these developments as promising, TripAdvisor is still fighting competition in the bookings aggregation market, as well as a slow transition from travel reviews to travel bookings.

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