Booking Holdings operates well-known travel aggregators and metasearch engines like kayak.com, booking.com, agoda.com, priceline.com, rentalcars.com, and cheapflights.com. It has a dominant position in the Online Travel Agency (OTA) market as a result of these Booking subsidiaries.
However, the travel and hospitality industries have been one of the hardest hit during the current pandemic. This was evident when the company announced its Q22020 earnings on August 7th, 2020. Gross bookings fell by a massive 91% year-over-year. Room nights sold also dropped by 86.7% while airline ticket bookings fell by 69.7%.
Revenues were down to $630 million from $3.85 billion during the same quarter a year ago. Net loss was $10.8 per share, down from a net income of $23.59 per share. However, both revenues and earnings beat consensus estimates. Analysts had expected revenues to come in at $574 million and net loss to be $11.8 per share.
Company CEO Glenn Fogel said that the business was improving since April. He observed that Europe and the United States had the highest contribution to the improved domestic booking trends. He further added, “The improved booking trends were primarily driven by domestic travel, with international trends seeing much more limited improvement. In July, we reached slightly positive year-over-year growth for overall domestic newly booked room nights, though, of course, there are many countries that still have negative year-over-year growth rates.”
Given the fact that reservations made with Booking Holdings have flexible cancellation policies, there is a possibility of future cancellations if the virus outbreak intensifies in specific locations or if new outbreaks occur. The company, however, did witness increased bookings in areas where lockdown guidelines were relaxed. The management believes that this trend may be due to pent-up demand leading to a small spike in bookings.
Booking Holdings stock closed at $1948.73, up 18.09% for the past month while down 6.07% since the beginning of the year.