Why HomeAway, Inc. Shares Soared

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of HomeAway  (NASDAQ: AWAY  ) were looking appealing today, climbing as much as 13% after a promising outlook in its fourth-quarter report.

So what: The vacation-rental website actually missed estimates on the bottom line as its per-share profit of $0.08 was short of expectations at $0.14; however, revenue improved 26.1% to $90.3 million, beating the consensus. CEO Brian Sharples called 2013's accomplishments "thrilling," and said the company had advanced several strategic initiatives in the fourth quarter that should pay off next year and beyond.

Now what: Listings, the core of HomeAway's business, improved solidly in the quarter, moving up nearly 30%, and the company's guidance was also better than expected. For the first quarter, it sees revenue of $102.1 million to $103.3 million, while full-year projections were in line with estimates. For the first quarter, analysts had expected estimates of just $99.5 million. With numbers improving in all aspects of its business and a model based on an appealing alternative to hotels, I'd expect HomeAway sales and shares to keep moving steadily higher in the years to come. 

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