Booking Jumps After Fourth-Quarter Forecast Beats Estimates

(Bloomberg) -- Booking Holdings Inc. jumped as much as 8.2 percent in extended trading after saying profit in the fourth quarter will surpass analysts’ forecasts.

Earnings per share in the current period will be $18.90 to $19.40, the online travel giant said in a statement Monday. Analysts on average projected $18.74 a share. In the third quarter, which covers the busy summer season, Booking said it sold more than 200 million room nights -- the first time it breached that milestone in a quarter.

The jump in room nights was likely driven by alternative accommodations, non-hotel properties like private apartments and vacation rentals, said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Mandeep Singh. Booking has been pouring investment into alternative accommodations, the fastest-growing part of the market. Profit from non-hotel properties is generally slightly lower, but success in this category will have long-term benefits for the company, Singh said.

Booking and rival Expedia Group Inc. are racing to expand their businesses into home-sharing while continuing to capitalize on a strong trip market, especially as the U.S. economy continues to grow.

The amount Booking spent on television advertising and other brand-related ads increased in the quarter, reflecting the company’s effort to grow in the U.S. market, long the home territory of Expedia.

Shares of Booking, previously called Priceline, traded as high as $2,024.83 in extended trading, after closing at $1,871.12 in New York.

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