Expedia Group Inc. (EXPE) is a global online travel platform that enables business and leisure travelers to plan, book, and enhance their travel experiences. The company makes available a variety of services provided by lodging properties, airlines, car rental companies, and cruise lines. Expedia operates an extensive portfolio of brands to respond to travelers' needs, including Expedia.com, Hotels.com, Vrbo, Egencia, trivago, and CarRentals.com.

Expedia competes with companies offering services to both leisure and corporate travelers. These competitors include travel agencies, tour operators, consolidators and wholesalers of travel products and services, travel metasearch websites, mobile travel applications, and social media websites. Major rivals include TripAdvisor Inc. (TRIP), Trip.com Group Ltd. (TCOM), American Express Global Business Travel, Airbnb Inc. (ABNB), and Booking Holdings Inc. (BKNG).

Key Takeaways

  • Expedia offers online tools to help travelers plan and book travel.
  • The Retail segment, focused on travel and advertising services, generates most of the company's revenue and all of its adjusted EBITDA.
  • Expedia faces significant challenges as the COVID-19 pandemic sharply slows the pace of global leisure and business travel.

Expedia's Financials

The decline in travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related government restrictions has had a significant adverse impact on Expedia's business. The company posted a net loss of $2.7 billion on revenue of $5.2 billion in its 2020 fiscal year (FY), which ended Dec. 31, 2020. The net loss was a significant change from the net income of $572 million posted in FY 2019. Revenue fell 56.9% compared to the previous year.

Expedia generated revenue from four specific types of service during the year. It received about 78% of total revenue from Lodging, which includes revenue generated through the facilitation of hotel and alternative accommodations. Air, which includes airline ticket sales, comprised just 2% of revenue. Advertising and media, which primarily includes ad revenue generated by trivago, comprised 8%. Expedia received 12% of its revenue from car rental, insurance, destination, and other services.

Expedia's adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA), a non-GAAP metric used by the company to gauge the profitability of its different business segments was -$368 million in FY 2020 compared to $2.1 billion in the previous year.

Expedia's Business Segments

Starting in Q1 2020, Expedia's reportable business segments include: Retail, B2B, and trivago. The company provides a breakdown of revenue and adjusted EBITDA for these three segments. The breakdown excludes revenue generated through intersegment transactions.

Retail

The Retail segment aggregates a variety of operating segments and is focused on the provision of a range of travel and advertising services to global customers through a number of different brands. Those brands include: Expedia.com and Hotels.com in the U.S., as well as localized websites throughout the world. Retail also includes other brands such as Vrbo, Orbitz, Travelocity, CheapTickets, CarRentals.com, CruiseShipCenter, and more.

Revenue for the segment fell 54.7% in FY 2020 to $4.0 billion, comprising about 78% of Expedia's total revenue. Adjusted EBITDA fell 88.0% to $254 million, making up 100% of the total as the other two segments posted negative adjusted EBITDA.

B2B

The B2B segment consists of the company's Expedia Business Services organization. It includes Expedia Partner Solutions, which provides travel services to leisure travelers via third-party company branded websites, and Egencia, a travel management company that offers travel services to businesses and their corporate customers. Revenue for the B2B segment plunged 63.5% in FY 2020 to $942 million, comprising about 18% of Expedia's total revenue. The segment posted an adjusted loss before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization of $208 million for the year, a significant change from the adjusted EBITDA of $447 million posted in FY 2019.

trivago

Expedia's trivago segment is comprised of its hotel metasearch, or search aggregator, websites. The segment generates ad revenue primarily by sending referrals from those sites to online travel companies and travel service providers. Revenue for the segment sank 67.0% in FY 2020 to $205 million, comprising about 4% of Expedia's total revenue. The segment posted an adjusted loss before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization of $14.0 million during the year, a significant change from the adjusted EBITDA of $85 million in FY 2019.

(Note: Expedia also provides a separate breakdown for a "Corporate and Eliminations" category, which includes certain shared expenses among its different segments, such as accounting, human resources, and other costs. It also includes business from Bodybuilding.com, which Expedia sold in May 2020. The financial results for this category were immaterial during FY 2020 and are not included in the pie charts above.)

Expedia's Recent Developments

Expedia noted in its Q4 2020 earnings report that, although there are some signs of hope in the form of vaccine approvals, it did not experience any real sequential progress in its business besides some signs of modest improvement around the holidays. Under the current unpredictable travel environment, the company remains focused on reshaping and simplifying its business.