Booking Holdings Inc. (BKNG - Free Report) delivered second-quarter 2019 non-GAAP earnings of $23.59 per share beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 79 cents. Further, the figure improved 14.1% from the year-ago quarter and 111.2% on a sequential basis.
Revenues of $3.85 billion outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.76 billion. The figure increased 9% year over year and 35.7% from the previous quarter.
Strong performance of the company’s merchant, and advertising and other businesses drove the top line year over year. Additionally, robust accommodation business aided acceleration in the booked room nights number, which came in at 213 million during the reported quarter, up 12% from the prior-year quarter.
Further, the company witnessed year-over-year improvement in rental car days and airline tickets unit, which in turn contributed to the results.
Notably, shares of the company 4.9% in the after-hours trade on Aug 7. This can be attributed to better-than-expected results in the reported quarter and strong earnings outlook for third-quarter 2019.
Coming to the price performance, Booking Holdings has gained 5.8% on a year-to-date basis, underperforming the industry’s rally of 16.5%.
Nevertheless, secular growth trend in the online travel booking market and growing usage of mobile by the travelers for their travel planning remain tailwinds.
Moreover, the company’s strong position in the international markets, growth opportunities in the domestic market, solid momentum across the global accommodation space and proper execution of its marketing strategies will continue to drive business growth in the near term as well as in the long haul.
Increasing investments in an attempt to strengthen its alternative accommodation business, payment platform, merchandising and customer acquisition program are likely to benefit the company in near term.
Top-Line in Detail
Booking Holdings generates bulk of revenues from the international markets, wherein the agency model is more popular. This is reflected in the merchant/agency split of revenues, which was 24.9/67.7% in the second quarter (previous quarter’s split was 21.3/68.7%).
Merchant revenues came in $959 million, up 35.1% year over year. The company’s continued efforts toward ramping up of merchant business remains a positive. Growing merchandising initiatives and expanding global footprint of the company’s payment platform drove year-over-year growth.
Further, Agency revenues were $2.61 billion, up 1.6% on a year-over-year basis.
Advertising & Other revenues were $284 million (7.4% of total revenues), improving 9.2% from the year-ago quarter. These are basically non-inter company revenues from Kayak and OpenTable.
Booking Holdings’ overall bookings came in $25.04 billion were up 4.8% (10% in constant currency) from the year-ago quarter. This year-over-year growth exceeded management’s guided range.
Merchant bookings were $6.4 billion up 33.2% from the prior-year quarter. However, agency bookings declined 2.4% year over year to $18.64 billion.
Adjusted EBITDA in the second quarter was $1.4 billion, up 15% from the year-ago quarter.
Per management, operating expenses as a percentage of revenues expanded 220 bps to 67.6%.
Operating income was $1.25 billion, increasing2.1% year over year. Moreover, operating margin of 32.4% contracted 210 bps from the year-ago quarter.
As of Jun 30, 2019, cash and short-term investments balance was $6.8 billion compared with $4.3 billion as of Mar 31, 2019.
At the end of the second quarter, Booking Holdings had $7.7 billion of long-term debt.
During the reported quarter, the company generated $1.8 billion of cash from operations, significantly down from $150 million in the previous quarter.
Further, Booking Holdings repurchased shares worth $2.6 billion during the reported quarter.
For the third quarter of 2019, Booking Holdings expects room nights booked to grow 6-8%. Further, total gross bookings are anticipated to reflect year-over-year growth within a range of 3-5% on a constant-currency basis.
The company anticipates adjusted EBITDA in the range of $2.40-$2.45 billion.
Non-GAAP earnings are expected in the range of $43.60-$44.60 per share. The Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at $44.45.
Zacks Rank and Other Stocks to Consider
Booking Holdings currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Some top-ranked stocks in the retail-wholesale sector are IAC/InterActiveCorp (IAC - Free Report) , Boot Barn Holdings, Inc. (BOOT - Free Report) and Sonic Automotive, Inc. (SAH - Free Report) . All the three stocks flaunt a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Long-term earnings growth rate for IAC/InterActiveCorp, Boot Barn Holdings and Sonic Automotive is projected to be 20.45%, 17% and 3%, respectively.
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