In this segment from Motley Fool Money, host Chris Hill and analysts Jason Moser, David Kretzmann, and Andy Cross consider a tale of two earnings beats.
First, the highly profitable online travel agency operator Booking Holdings (NASDAQ:BKNG), which outperformed its conservative expectations, but still got squashed for once again offering the market modest guidance. The Fools were intrigued at management's suggestion that its size will make rapid growth more difficult from here.
On the other hand, there's niche online retailer Etsy (NASDAQ:ETSY), competing in one of the toughest spaces in the economy and delivering yet another impressive quarter. The guys consider where both companies are headed.
A full transcript follows the video.
This video was recorded on Aug. 10, 2018.
Chris Hill: Another example of guidance outweighing results, second quarter profits for Booking Holdings came in higher than expected but shares of the parent company of Priceline and booking.com fell on their forecast for the third quarter, Andy.
Andy Cross: It's the MO of booking.com. They tend to go a little light on the guidance, and they beat it time and time again. Sales are up 20%. Rooms booked were up 12%, that's down a little bit. But all these numbers are above their guidance. It was a nice quarter.
One interesting point from the conference call that I took was, the CEO said, "We're going to see a bit of a slowdown in the third quarter due to the size of our business." I'd never heard someone complain about the size of their business impacting the growth. I mean, I can get it. It's a monster company, they do more than $80 billion of bookings a year. But this is a business that's going to grow their revenue in the high single digits for the year on the dollar side, and EPS to be down to flat.
They generate a ton of free cash flow, David, and they buy back a lot of stock. That's kind of the story you have for Booking. It's not a cheap stock, but it's also not the super growth story it was a few years ago.
David Kretzmann: It's still a good story. This is one of the most profitable companies on the planet. Speaking of free cash flow, since 2013, even though the company is still at a good size today, free cash flow has more than doubled since 2013 to nearly $5 billion. This is a company churning out a ton of cash, and that should be able to increase going forward, as well.
Hill: Shares of Etsy up more than 10% this week after second quarter revenue came in 30% higher than a year ago. Jason, I've never bought anything off of Etsy, but they're carving a really nice niche for themselves.
Jason Moser: Chris, there are a lot of things in life that are hard. Golf is hard. Understanding our tax code is hard. I think existing as a retailer in an Amazon world is hard. I'll tell you, Etsy makes it look really easy. If you look at their numbers, quarter in and quarter out, sellers keeps growing, buyers keeps growing, gross merchandise volume keeps growing. This is obviously a platform that's resonating with a lot of folks out there. It's because it's a great network, it connects buyers with sellers for a very specific offering.
It's great brand recognition. It's a capital light model, no inventory on the balance sheet. Nice and profitable, cash flow positive, a holistic solution. There are so many things to like about this business. I really do expect them to continue on this trajectory for many, many quarters to come, if not years to come. They've built out a tremendous offering that's resonated with a lot of people out there.
Kretzmann: A lot of credit for the company's success over the past year or so is really owed to new CEO Josh Silverman, who stepped in last May. Since that time, the stock is up 300%. He really helped the company focus its strategy. Since that time, margins and free cash flow, like Jason mentioned, have really exploded over the past year. They're really making great progress.
Moser: They're also talking about, they're going to increase the seller transaction fee a little bit. Exercising a little bit of pricing power. That'll be something we'll want to keep an eye on, but it sounds like they're going to be able to pass that through without any problem at all.
John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Andy Cross owns shares of Booking Holdings. Chris Hill owns shares of AMZN. David Kretzmann owns shares of AMZN, Booking Holdings, and Etsy. Jason Moser has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends AMZN and Booking Holdings. The Motley Fool recommends Etsy. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.