Booking Holdings (NASDAQ:BKNG) and Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE), two main players in the online travel industry, have been benefitting from strong travel trends. However, based on the trend of website traffic for both companies, Booking Holdings may post better first-quarter results than Expedia.
Wondering how to get this predictive superpower? Well, the TipRanks Website Traffic tool provides useful information about a company’s website domain, which can be used to predict the upcoming earnings report.
Let’s take a closer look at both companies’ fundamentals and Q1 earnings prospects.
Booking Holdings, Inc.
Booking, with a market cap of $97.28 billion, provides an online platform for making travel and restaurant reservations. The company’s wide international presence and strong balance sheet position keep it well poised for growth.
According to the latest financial results, Booking reported a 36% year-over-year jump in Q4 revenues to $4 billion due to an increase in the number of room nights booked. During the Q4 earnings call, the company said that it witnessed strong trends at the beginning of the first quarter. For January alone, the room nights were up by 60% year over year.
Looking at the firm’s website traffic, we find that site visits are on the rise. In the first quarter, about 697.2 million unique users visited booking.com, including 192 million on desktop devices and 505.3 via mobile units. Overall, the visits were up 50.6% from the last year’s quarter and have grown 18.9% sequentially.
BKNG is expected to report its first-quarter 2023 numbers on May 3, 2023.
Overall, Wall Street is cautiously optimistic about BKNG stock. It has received 15 Buy and seven Hold recommendations for a Moderate Buy consensus rating. Further, analysts’ 12-month average price target of $2,788.33 implies 8.4% upside potential from current levels.
Expedia Group, Inc.
Expedia provides travel-related goods and services to leisure and corporate travelers. The company has a market cap of $14.06 billion. Further, the company has been strengthening its balance sheet position and has reduced its net debt by $2.2 billion during FY22.
In the fourth quarter, Expedia’s revenues increased by 14.9% year-over-year to $2.62 billion, with gross bookings reflecting a 17% jump from a year ago to $20.5 billion. Following the release, Expedia CEO Peter Kern said that though Q4 results were negatively impacted by unfavorable weather conditions, the company experienced strong demand trends in January of this year.
However, Expedia’s website traffic trends show a different picture. In the first quarter of 2023, unique visits to expedia.com dropped 19.4% from the same period last year to 104.9 million users. Furthermore, the company has witnessed a mere 0.17% surge in visits on a sequential basis.
EXPE is expected to announce results for the first quarter of 2023 on May 1, 2023.
On TipRanks, Expedia has a Moderate Buy consensus rating based on 10 Buys, 10 Holds, and one Sell assigned over the last three months. At $133.20, the average Expedia price target implies upside potential of 48.3%.
Conclusion: BKNG Seems to be a Better Choice
Among the two stocks, hedge funds prefer BKNG over EXPE. The 13F filings from the most recent quarter show the interest of some big funds, like Joel Greenblatt’s Gotham Asset Management and Ken Fisher’s Fisher Asset Management, in BKNG stock.
Additionally, compared to Expedia’s gain of just 2%, the share price of Booking has increased by over 26% year-to-date. Further, as was already mentioned, the website traffic paints an encouraging picture of Booking’s Q1 results. Therefore, Booking Holdings seems like a better choice for investors than Expedia.