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TripAdvisor (TRIP) Q1 Earnings & Revenues Lag; Stock Falls

TripAdvisor Inc. TRIP reported adjusted first-quarter 2016 earnings of 22 cents per share, which missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 37 cents. Adjusted earnings exclude one-time items but include stock-based compensation expense.

Shares of the online travel research company fell over 3% in after-hours trading in response to the first-quarter results.


TripAdvisor reported revenues of $352.0 million in the first quarter, down 15.2% sequentially and 3.0% year over year due to lower display advertising and subscription sales. Revenues also missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $369 million. Excluding the foreign currency impact, total revenue decreased approximately 1% year over year.

Earlier, TripAdvisor had changed its reportable segments to reflect changes in management’s reporting structure. The new segments are Hotel and Other.

Revenues of $303.0 million from the Hotel segment declined 5% from the year-ago quarter and accounted for 86% of total revenue. This segment includes click, display, subscription and transaction-based revenues from hotels, air and cruise, including the company’s largest subsidiary, SmarterTravel, as well as operations in China.

Revenues of $49.0 million from the Other segment increased 14% year over year and contributed the remaining 14% of the total revenue. The increase was driven primarily by acquisitions under the attractions and restaurants businesses. This segment includes revenues from attractions, restaurants and vacation rentals businesses.

Revenues by Product

Revenues of $227.0 million from Click-based advertising declined 9% from the year-ago quarter and accounted for 64% of total revenue. Revenues from Display-based advertising increased 11% year over year to $39.0 million and brought in 11% of total revenue. Subscription and other contributed the remaining 24% with $86.0 million in revenues, up 9% year over year.

Revenues by Geography

Geographically, on a year-over-year basis, only North American revenues increased 5% to $191.0 million, representing 54% of total revenue. Latin America decreased 26% to $14 million, accounting for 4%. Revenues from the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region decreased 8% to $110.0 million and contributed 31% to total revenue, while revenues from the Asia-Pacific decreased 12% to $37.0 million, bringing in the remaining 11%.

Operating Results

TripAdvisor’s adjusted operating expenses of $294.0 million decreased 5.5% sequentially but increased 13.1% year over year. The adjusted operating margin of 14.2% was up 2230 basis points (bps) sequentially but down 1252 bps year over year.

On a GAAP basis, TripAdvisor recorded a net profit of $27.0 million or 18 cents per share compared with the year-ago figure of $63.0 million or 43 cents.

Pro-forma earnings came in at 22 cents per share against 36 cents in fourth-quarter 2015.

Balance Sheet & Cash Flow

TripAdvisor exited the quarter with cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of roughly $692.0 million compared with $661.0 million in the prior quarter. Accounts receivables were $244.0 million, up from $180.0 million in the last quarter.

Cash flow from operations was $120.0 million, up from $74 million in the previous quarter. Capex was $17.0 million against $16.0 million in the fourth quarter.

During the quarter, the company repurchased shares worth $1.0 million.

Our Take

TripAdvisor is an online travel research company that features reviews and advice on hotels, resorts, flights, vacation rentals, vacation packages and travel guides, to name a few. The company reported a weak first quarter with both the top line and the bottom line missing our estimates.

The company’s solid fundamentals, growth initiatives, partnerships to boost hotel bookings, strong focus on developing its mobile products, expansion into the international restaurant reservation space and improvement in user growth and engagement, especially related to mobile devices will help the company to achieve desired results.

Additionally, TripAdvisor’s acquisitions complement its travel product portfolio. These also improve efficiency and expand user base apart from increasing traffic, hotel shoppers and profits. Over the long term, the company is well positioned to grow, given its expanding user base, improving margins and increasing monetization of social and mobile platforms.

However, higher expenses due to new initiatives and investments are hurting the company’s profits. Also, lack of visibility and intensifying competition from Priceline, Expedia EXPE and Alphabet GOOGL remain as concerns.

Currently, TripAdvisor has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Another better-ranked stock in the same space is Travelport Worldwide Limited TVPT, sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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