What happened

Latin American online travel agency Despegar's (DESP 4.32%) stock was taking off like an airplane in a hurry this week. According to data compiled by S&P Global Market Intelligence, the shares were up by 15% week to date as of Friday before market open. This was due in no small part to the company's publication of its first-quarter results.

So what

For its inaugural frame of this year, Despegar's total gross bookings amounted to $1.1 billion, a robust 44% improvement over the same quarter of 2022. Revenue also headed sharply north, rising by 41% to just under $159 million. That was a new quarterly record for the travel company.

Despite the substantial gains in those top-level financials, Despegar was not profitable on the bottom line. Its net loss was considerably narrower, though, at $700,000 ($0.10 per share) against the deep year-ago deficit of $30.7 million.

This meant a mixed quarter for the company, as the collective analyst estimate was just under $155 million for revenue, but a narrower $0.05 per share for net loss.

In the earnings release, CEO Damian Scokin said that "The quarter's performance reflects our ability to consistently deliver the best travel experience to customers while maintaining our disciplined focus on profitable growth and leveraging Despegar's scale with suppliers."

Now what

Most investors look forward with their stocks instead of concentrating on the tail view.

This explains the positive market reaction to Despegar's first quarter -- the company is guiding for revenue of $640 million to $700 million for full-year 2023. Even at the low end, that easily beats the average analyst projection of $632 million. Despegar is also anticipating non-GAAP (adjusted) earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of $80 million to $100 million.