The Covid-19 coronavirus has not had a great effect on TripAdvisor's business, CEO Steve Kaufer said Thursday.
However, during the company's fourth quarter financial results call, Kaufer did say that Covid-19 is likely behind TripAdvisor's slow start in its hotel auction business in 2020.

"We do see some unexpected or new cancellation levels in Asia, but we're not that exposed to Asia as an overall part of our business," he said. "So, we're watching it closely."

It could impact financial results to the tune of "low-single digits," Kaufer said, but at this point in time, "it's not that material to us."

In the fourth quarter and full year of 2019, TripAdvisor's net income increased -- up 114%, to $15 million, for Q4 and 12%, to $126 million, for the full year. But revenue decreased, largely attributed to its hotel auction business, which has remained soft to start the new year. In addition to a possible impact from Covid-19, TripAdvisor attributed that recent softness to the continuation of a trending downturn in the second half of 2019 and a softer travel spending environment.

Revenue in the fourth quarter decreased 3%, to $335 million. Full-year revenue also decreased 3%, to $1.56 billion.

Revenue fell in TripAdvisor's Hotels, Media & Platform segment, down 6% year over year in the fourth quarter and 6% for the total year ($939 million). Expedia attributed that to stronger-than-expected SEO headwinds with Google taking high-quality web traffic that would otherwise go to TripAdvisor.

Aside from hotel auction, TripAdvisor's businesses performed well in 2019, and the company believes that growth will continue. Its Experiences & Dining segment revenue grew 16% in the fourth quarter and 23% for 2019 overall ($456 million). So far, that segment is off to a good start in 2020, Tripadvisor said, and it expects strong results in 2020.

The company expects its Experiences & Dining revenue to be greater than hotel auction revenue for the first time in 2020.


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