The travel website's declining profit beat analysts' estimates, and higher display ads and subscription sales drove revenue. Fred Katayama reports.
TripAdvisor could just as well be called TripAdvertising. The travel website's quarterly display ad revenue and subscription revenue blasted higher. Also helping boost revenue: its new instant booking feature, which allows travelers to book hotels directly from Tripadvisor.com instead of being directed to a third-party website. Profit plunged but far exceeded analysts estimates. Shares soared, making TripAdvisor one of the day's top gainers on the S&P 500. One other bright spot: more than half of TripAdvisor's unique users came from mobile devices. Investors also reacted positively to Expedia. The world's largest online travel services company lost $13 billion in the fourth quarter partly due to its purchase of vacation rental site HomeAway in December. But it forecast a big jump in adjusted earnings this year, sending the stock up sharply.