Online Travel Agency, Trivago, Vrbo

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Expedia Group Inc. (EXPE) is a global online travel platform that enables business and leisure travelers to plan, book, and enhance their travel experiences. The company makes available a variety of services provided by lodging properties, airlines, car rental companies, and cruise lines. Expedia operates an extensive portfolio of brands to respond to travelers’ needs, including Expedia.com, Hotels.com, Vrbo, Egencia, trivago, and CarRentals.com.

Expedia competes with companies offering services to both leisure and corporate travelers. These competitors include travel agencies, tour operators, consolidators and wholesalers of travel products and services, travel metasearch websites, mobile travel applications, and social media websites. Major rivals include TripAdvisor Inc. (TRIP), Trip.com Group Ltd. (TCOM), American Express Global Business Travel, Airbnb Inc., and Bookings Holdings Inc.

Key Takeaways

  • Expedia offers online tools to help travelers plan and book travel.
  • The Core Online Travel Agencies business generates most of the company’s revenue and adjusted EBITDA.
  • Expedia faces significant challenges as the coronavirus pandemic sharply slows the pace of global leisure and business travel.

Expedia’s Financials

Expedia posted net income of $572 million on revenue of $12.1 billion for all of 2019. Net income grew 43.7% for the year, up sharply from the 7.0% growth posted in 2018. However, revenue growth slowed to 7.5% in 2019 compared to 11.6% growth during the previous year.

Expedia last year generated revenue from 4 specific types of service. It gets about 70% of total revenue from Lodging, which includes revenue generated through the facilitation of hotel and alternative accommodations. Air, which includes airline ticket sales, comprises 7% of revenue. Advertising and media, which primarily includes ad revenue generated by trivago, comprises 9%. And Expedia gets 13% of its revenue from car rental, insurance, destination, and other services.

Expedia’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA), a non-GAAP metric used by the company to gauge the profitability of its different business segments, grew 8.3% to $2.1 billion in 2019. In the previous year, adjusted EBITDA grew by 15%, nearly twice the pace of 2019. The dip in growth reflects a similar slowdown in the company’s revenue.

Expedia’s Business Segments

Expedia provides a breakdown of revenue and adjusted EBITDA for the following 5 segments: Core Online Travel Agencies (OTA); trivago; Vrbo; Egencia; and Corporate.

Core OTA

Expedia’s Core Online Travel Agencies segment offers a full range of travel and advertising services to customers around the world. The segment’s brands include: Expedia.com and Hotels.com in the U.S. as well as localized websites in regions around the world. The brands also include Expedia Partner Solutions, Orbitz, Travelocity, CheapTickets, and Classic Vacations. Revenue for the segment grew 7.6% during 2019 to $9.4 billion, comprising about 78% of Expedia’s total revenue. Adjusted EBITDA grew 6.2% over the year to $2.4 billion, making up about 84% of the total.

Vrbo

Expedia’s Vrbo segment provides and operates an online marketplace catering to the alternative accommodations industry, which includes the market for short-term rentals. The segment focuses on providing unique lodging options for families and also offers software solutions to property managers. Revenue grew about 14.4% during 2019 to $1.3 billion, comprising about 11% of Expedia’s total revenue. Adjusted EBITDA fell 2.4% to $281 million, making up about 10% of the total.

trivago

Expedia’s trivago segment is comprised of its hotel metasearch, or search aggregator, websites. The segment generates ad revenue primarily by sending referrals from those sites to online travel companies and travel service providers. Its platforms provide price comparisons from more than 400 booking websites for more than 4.5 million hotels and other accommodations in over 190 countries. Revenue for the segment fell 10.0% during 2019 to $622 million, comprising about 5% of Expedia’s total revenue. Adjusted EBITDA grew 431.3% to $85 million, making up about 3% of the total.

Egencia

Expedia’s Egencia segment offers managed travel services to corporate customers around the globe. Services include a global technology platform along with local telephone assistance with expert travel consultants, on-site agents for the provision of in-house support, consulting and meeting-management services, and advertising opportunities. Revenue for the segment grew 3.2% during 2019 to $620 million, comprising about 5% of Expedia’s total revenue. Adjusted EBITDA grew 8.4% over the year to $116 million, making up about 4% of the total.

Corporate

Expedia’s Corporate segment includes revenue generated from Bodybuilding.com, which the company acquired in July of 2019. Bodybuilding.com is an online retailer of supplements, sports nutrition products, as well as other health and wellness products. The segment also includes unallocated overhead costs. Revenue for the segment in 2019 was $58 million, comprising a small fraction of the company’s total revenue. The Corporate segment posted an adjusted loss before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization of $795 million.

Expedia’s Recent Developments

Expedia, which gets nearly all of its revenue from the travel industry, faces intense pressure over the next year as the coronavirus pandemic, shrinking global economies and rising unemployment hurt demand for its services. To help it ride through the crisis, the company last month raised a total of $3.2 billion. About $1.2 billion came from a private placement of preferred stock, and $2 billion from new debt financing.



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