Booking Holdings Inc. exceeded $2 billion in quarterly sales for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic in a Wednesday earnings report, but losses exceeded expectations as the company waits for a stronger bounceback for travel amid the global pandemic.


reported second-quarter losses Wednesday of $167 million, or $4.08 a share. After adjusting for changes in equity holdings and costs to pay off some debt, the online-travel company reported losses of $2.55 a share, an improvement from a loss of $10.81 a share a year ago, when the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic shut down travel globally.

Sales increased to $2.16 billion from last year’s $630 million, but still trailed by a wide margin the same quarter in 2019, before the pandemic, when Booking reported revenue of $3.8 billion. Analysts on average expected adjusted losses of $2.06 a share on sales of $1.88 billion, according to FactSet.

Booking shares dipped slightly in after-hours trading immediately following the release of the results, after closing with a 2.5% decline at $2,085.64. The stock has declined 6.1% so far this year, as the S&P 500 index

has gained 17.8%.

The online-travel industry has struggled to regain footing as the pandemic has dragged on, with consumers preferring to travel short distances and stay in alternative lodging to hotels. International and business travel, big parts of Booking’s business, have especially stayed on the sidelines.

For more: Travelers are booking trips online again, but they mostly want the same thing: Not a hotel

“We are encouraged by another quarter of meaningful sequential improvement in booking trends with second quarter room nights increasing 59% versus the first quarter of 2021, primarily driven by stronger results in Europe and in the U.S.,” Booking Chief Executive Glenn Fogel said in a statement Wednesday.

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