What: Shares of Ctrip.com International Ltd. (NASDAQ:TCOM) were up 20.3% as of 12:10 p.m. Thursday after the Chinese online travel specialist announced better-than-expected unaudited third-quarter results.
So what: Total revenue climbed 49% year over year to $528 million, including a 45% increase in accommodation reservation revenue to $216 million, a 51% increase in transportation ticketing revenue to $190 million, 66% growth from packaged tours to $93 million, and a 19% increase in corporate travel revenue to $20 million. Net revenue -- which means subtracting business tax and surcharges -- also rose 49% to $500.6 million.
On the bottom line, that translated to adjusted net income of $401 million, or $2.20 per American depositary share. And yes, that's extraordinarily high. But keep in mind that's primarily due to a one-time $377 million gain under the "other income" line following the deconsolidation of Tujia.com during the quarter. Ctrip elaborated, "The gain is primarily recognized for the difference between the fair value and carrying value of the investment in Tujia as of the deconsolidation date."
Excluding that gain, Ctrip's earnings would have come in at roughly $0.13 per ADS, helped in part by the company's decision to repurchase roughly 21 million ADSes for around $510 million during the quarter.
Even so, analysts were less optimistic on both the top and bottom lines, with consensus estimates calling for adjusted earnings of $0.09 per share on net revenue of $490.6 million.
Ctrip CEO James Liang lauded Ctrip's "strong momentum" and "great results" during the quarter, then expressed excitement for Ctrip's recently announced share exchange with Baidu. Specifically, last month the two companies agreed to a transaction that will give Baidu ownership of shares representing roughly 25% of Ctrip's aggregate voting interest, while Ctrip will receive shares representing around 45% of the voting interest of fellow online travel specialist Qunar Cayman Islands (NASDAQ:QUNR).
Now what: "Ctrip and Qunar are committed to building a healthier ecosystem in China's travel industry together," added Liang. "We are confident that both teams will further strengthen their fundamental capabilities and create better value for travelers, suppliers and shareholders."
Looking forward, Ctrip also offered encouraging guidance for year-over-year net revenue growth in the current quarter of 45% to 50%, easily outpacing Wall Street's prediction that net revenue would increase 40.2%. In the end, this was a solid performance from Ctrip that appears to show it's effectively using its leadership to benefit from recent consolidation in the Chinese online travel industry. As that industry continues to grow, I won't be the least bit surprised if Ctrip's share price follows suit over the long-term.