almost 4 years ago • 2 mins
Expedia’s earnings arrived on Wednesday looking a little worse for wear – and investors seemed to have sensitive stomachs of their own, sending the online travel company’s shares down as much as 5% 🤢
Expedia’s first-quarter revenue fell 15% – its first yearly revenue decline in eight years – as would-be holidaymakers shelved their coronavirus-afflicted travel plans, in turn knocking both lodging and air sales. And while a first-quarter loss is nothing new for a company that does its big business in the summer months, the size of that loss – six times bigger than a year ago – very much was.
Like most of the travel industry, Expedia is bearing the brunt of coronavirus ✈️ Even in February, before the pandemic had fully taken hold, the company announced it was cutting 3,000 jobs as a way to save on costs. And by March, it had disclosed it was raising $3.2 billion – mostly through debt – to strengthen its financial position for the turbulent months to come.
On the plus side, the company did say it was seeing more bookings over the past few weeks as governments gradually ease lockdown restrictions. That’s mainly being led by the company’s vacation rental business, Vrbo, as travelers opt to rent close to home rather than book hotels further afield 🏨 It could also be positive feedback for Vrbo rival Airbnb, which has had to tap a fresh $1 billion investment to keep its own business ticking over.
Expedia had company on Thursday: consumer electronics retailer Best Buy reported its first-quarter earnings fell 40%. That’s despite an early-pandemic shopping surge in which customers kitted out their home offices, and despite a doubling in online sales after the company shut its physical stores 😬 Best Buy’s now begun reopening some of those stores, but it remains to be seen how many of the 50,000 employees it furloughed in April will be needed in them.
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