Expedia Inc. (EXPE) swung to a loss in the fourth quarter as the online travel agency booked a large accounting charge amid the ongoing financial crisis that weighed on demand for vacations.
In the latest quarter, the company posted a net loss of $2.76 billion, or $9.60 a share, compared with its year-ago net income of $65.4 million, or 22 cents a share. Excluding a $2.76 billion goodwill write-down and other charges, Expedia's quarterly profit of 22 cents per share was a penny above the consensus estimate.
Expedia saw its quarterly revenue falling 7% to $620.8 million, hurt by weak demand for both hotel and airline tickets. This is in sharp contrast to rival Priceline.com Inc. (PCLN), which gained market share by luring bargain-hunters through deep discounts.
Expedia fell as low as $7.49 in the early session before paring some losses to trade down 6% to $8.00 at noon on the NASDAQ.
updated Feb 19, 2009
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