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 Ctrip.com International Ltd. (NASDAQ:CTRP) jumped more than 21% Friday morning after the Chinese online travel site reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and encouraging guidance.
So what: Quarterly net revenue climbed 33% year over year to $308 million, which translated to a net loss of $36 million, or $0.26 per American depositary share. On an adjusted basis, which excludes share-based compensation, Ctrip's net loss was $16 million, or $0.11 per ADS. Analysts, on average, were expecting a wider adjusted net loss of $0.23 per share on higher sales of $334.2 million.
In particular, Ctrip notes driving growth in Q4 were 53% and 102% increases in accommodation reservation and transportation ticketing services, respectively. Meanwhile, cumulative mobile app downloads reached almost 600 million by the end of the year -- an increase of over 70% from the previous quarter -- and mobile transactions comprised over 70% of Ctrip's total during the Chinese New Year holiday.
Perhaps it should come as no surprise, then, that for the current quarter Ctrip expects to continue growing net revenue at a year-over-year rate of approximately 40% to 50%. Wall Street, for its part, was only expecting Ctrip's first-quarter revenue to climb around 32% from the year-ago period to roughly $366 million.
Now what: "Our new initiatives have propelled the expansion in our market share," added Ctrip CEO James Liang. "We will continue to focus on technology, service quality and efficiency, product comprehensiveness and price competitiveness, to create greater value for our customers, our partners, our employees and ultimately, our investors."
In the end, while Ctrip's guidance might seem aggressive, keep in mind its fourth-quarter revenue exceeded the company's own expectations for "just" 30% growth. Combined with Ctrip's nice bottom-line beat, it's hard to blame the market for celebrating this impressive quarter as Ctrip works toward sustained profitability.