The Expedia Inc. application page is displayed in the Apple Inc. App store on an iPhone in an arranged photograph taken in Washington, D.C., U.S. (Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

Expedia Earnings Beat Estimates, Fueled by Home-Rentals Growth

(Bloomberg) -- Expedia Group Inc. reported third-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ estimates, boosted by growth in short-term rental unit HomeAway.

Profit excluding some costs rose 41 percent to $553 million, or $3.56 per share, in the three months ending Sept. 30, the company said in a statement. Analysts had predicted $3.10 a share, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Expedia, which owns travel aggregator websites like Hotels.com, Hotwire.com and CarRentals.com, is starting to see the benefits of buying HomeAway three years ago. Expedia paid $3.9 billion in 2015 for the vacation-home rental site in a power play to rival upstart Airbnb Inc. Along with Booking Holdings Inc., the three have been battling to woo travelers and go beyond typical vacation packages to expand offerings in people’s homes in cities.

In the third quarter, Expedia saw its gross bookings rise 11 percent, led by a 24 percent increase at HomeAway. That helped boost total revenue 12 percent to $3.1 billion in the third quarter, the Bellevue, Washington-based company said. The shares jumped as much as 11 percent in extended trading. They closed up 2.9 percent at $117.57.

HomeAway now has more than 300,000 listings and offers about 1.8 million online bookable listings. Looking forward, Expedia is planning to further expand HomeAway’s international footprint, company executives told analysts on an earning call Thursday.

Earlier Thursday, Expedia announced it was buying two software companies, Pillow and ApartmentJet, to help residents and owners rent out their properties in urban markets.

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