What happened

Shares of Expedia (EXPE 0.15%) outperformed a rising market last month, jumping 30% compared to a 2.6% gain in the S&P 500, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The rally added to big gains for the travel booking stock, which is up more than 60% in the past full year.

A couple checking into a hotel room.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Investors were happy with Expedia's latest earnings report despite continued pressure from the pandemic. Gross bookings plunged 67% through late 2020, the company reported on Feb. 11, and its operating loss landed at $463 million. Management cited continued travel restrictions and growing coronavirus outbreaks as the main challenges. "Q4 did not show any real sequential progress," CEO Peter Kern said in a press release .

Now what

Still, investors' outlook for the tech business brightened as the vaccine rollout gained steam last month and as daily COVID-19 case numbers began plummeting in key markets like the U.S. Those developments point to an eventual end to the pandemic threat, which will pave the way for Expedia to begin growing again after bookings plunged 66% in 2020.