What happened

This summer tourism season might be red-hot, but investors were largely cool on Booking Holdings (BKNG 0.77%) stock on Thursday. The company reported its second-quarter results Wednesday evening, and the market reacted by sending its share price down by 1% in the following trading session.

So what

This was an interesting development, as Booking Holdings actually topped analysts' consensus estimate for profitability. The online travel agency nearly doubled its total revenue on a year-over-year basis, to just over $4.29 billion. That was on a foundation of $34.5 billion in total bookings, up 57% from the prior-year period.

On the bottom line, Booking Holdings flipped to a non-GAAP net profit of $776 million ($19.08 per share) from its year-ago loss of $105 million. Prognosticators following the stock had only anticipated $18.25 per share in adjusted net profit. However, their collective estimate of $4.34 billion more or less matched reality.

Even the most casual observers of the tourism industry are aware of the key catalyst for the dramatic improvement in Booking Holdings' fundamentals. Of course, this is the roaring comeback of travel in a world previously shut down and shut in because of the coronavirus. Given that this was a powerful engine of recovery for all segments of the industry, investors might have been dismayed that Booking Holdings didn't do better.

Now what

Booking Holdings didn't break out specific figures for guidance, so at this point, it's a finger-in-the-wind game to guess how it might perform. The company did quote CEO Glenn Fogel as saying that it expected "record" revenue for the third quarter, although no elaboration was provided.