TripAdviser shares rose in after-hours trading, as investors cheered confirmation of its efforts to relaunch its hotel shopping experience in face of poor earning results.
The website, which offers travel and hotel recommendations, saw shares rise 5.7 per cent to $46.92 in after-hours trading on Tuesday after it posted lower-than-expected revenue and net income results.
Net income for the first quarter of 2017 decreased 55 per cent year-over-year to $13m, or 9 cents per share, while analysts had 10 cents per share. Revenue grew 6 per cent over the period in the prior year to $372m on expectations of $376m.
Despite the weak performance, however, the shares were lifted after remarks by chief executive Steve Kaufer, who said the company would launch a “simplified, more engaging hotel shopping experience” in a few weeks, which will include a “cleaner interface and a significant emphasis on helping users find and book the best hotels at the lowest prices”.
The instant book function allows users to book hotel through TripAdviser’s website directly, rather than through the links also supplied by the site. However, investments in the tool have been expensive. Analysts at Cowen and Company estimate the instant book function was responsible for over half of the company’s losses on revenue per shopper, a key industry metric, over the past six quarters, representing as much as $90m in lost revenue in 2016.
Shares in the company are down 57 per cent from a high of $110.21 in 2014.
The company has already given the instant booking feature less prominence on the website. This quarter it reported revenue per hotel shopper has returned to growth, up 2 per cent.
“2017 is off to a productive start and we are making great progress building end-to-end products that travellers love,” Mr Kaufer said in a statement. “Over time, as more users associate the TripAdvisor brand as a great place to find the lowest prices and to book, we will be able to drive more revenue, marketing efficiency and profitability in our business.”
According to the a company survey, 55 per cent of travellers decide on an accommodation based on TripAdviser information, while 26 per cent decide based on word of mouth.
Shares in rival booking site Priceline, which also missed estimates on Tuesday, were down 3.3 per cent to $1,911.13 in after-market trading.
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