AP News

TripAdvisor's Q4 net income falls

NEWTON, Mass. (AP) — TripAdvisor Inc. reported Tuesday that its fourth-quarter net income fell as marketing and technology costs continued to rise for the travel-reviews site.

The company earned $20.3 million, or 14 cents a share, in the October-December period. That compared with $33.6 million, or 23 cents a share, in the final three months of 2012.

Excluding one-time items, its net income amounted to 21 cents a share, compared to 29 cents a year ago.

Wall Street had been expecting 22 cents on that basis, according to a FactSet survey of analysts covering the company.

Fourth-quarter revenue increased 25 percent to $212.7 million from $169.4 million. Analysts had been expecting $205.8 million in the latest quarter.

Sixty-eight percent of revenue came from click-based advertising, which grew 17 percent from a year earlier. Subscription and transaction revenue, a smaller revenue source, jumped 53 percent.

Costs and expenses rose 50 percent to $184.2 million from $122.4 million. Sales and marketing accounted for the largest portion by far of costs, followed by technology and content.

TripAdvisor, based in Newton, Mass., features reader-written reviews of hotels and other businesses on several websites including Airfarewatchdog, BookingBuddy and SmarterTravel. With about 11 percent of the world's monthly unique visitors in online travel last year, TripAdvisor said it remains the largest travel website.

TripAdvisor shares rose 15 cents to end at $84.20 in regular trading, before the fourth-quarter results were announced. In after-hours trading, they fell $1.30 to $82.90.

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