released better than expected fourth quarter results. Consumer and business travel continued to recover as pandemic-related restrictions gradually ease.
For the quarter, the online travel agency reported revenue of $3 billion, up 141% from last year’s Covid level, and ahead of the consensus forecast of Street of 2.85 billion dollars. Adjusted earnings for the quarter were $654 million, or $15.83 per share, ahead of Street at $13.68 per share. According to generally accepted accounting principles, Booking.com (ticker: BKNG) earned $618 million, or $14.94 per share, including $20 million in equity gains.
Adjusted Ebitda, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, was $940 million, which compares with a loss on the same basis of $38 million a year ago. Gross bookings for the quarter were $19 billion, up 160% from a year ago. Booked nights increased by 100%, while car rental days increased by 35.8% and booked airline tickets increased by 108%.
The strong results echo the equally impressive growth of other travel players, such as
(EXPE), which recorded revenue growth of 148% over the same period, and
(ABNB), which posted 78% revenue growth in the December quarter.
For the full year, Booking, whose brands include priceline.com, Kayak and OpenTable, had gross bookings of $76.6 billion, up 116%. Revenue was $11 billion, up 61%, and net income was $1.2 billion, up from $59 million a year earlier.
“Despite the negative impact on travel from the Omicron wave at the end of the fourth quarter, we achieved revenues and Adjusted Ebitda results above our expectations for the quarter,” said the CEO of Booking.com, Glenn Fogel, in a statement. “I am encouraged by the significant improvement in bookings we have seen so far in the first quarter of 2022. I believe we are well positioned as travel demand recovers, however, we expect there will still be times when Covid will negatively impact travel trends as we progress through the year.
At the end of the session, the reservation stock is 2% higher at $2,520.25.
Write to Eric J. Savitz at [email protected]