Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi created a state of confusion when he ended the company’s fourth quarter earnings call on Thursday with a surprising statement.
“I want to say thank you to our global employee base for an improved 2016 and an improved end of the year. And hopefully we will all be alive to see the end of next year,” the CEO said.
Khosrowshahi vs. Trump
Though there was no clarity on what he meant, his statement sounded like he was taking a dig at the President. The comment resulted in several tweets, and one of them called him a “Trump critic.” Several news channels wanted to get a few extra comments from an Expedia spokesperson, but they had nothing more to share, according to CNBC.
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During the campaign, Khosrowshahi supported Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and believed that Trump would be bad for the world and the travel industry.
Last year during the Geekwire Summit, the Expedia CEO said, “I think where Trump just has it dead wrong is this is a world of us versus them.”
Khosrowshahi also did not agree with Trump’s executive order about banning seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. He called it “reactionary versus visionary.”
Last month, the Iranian-American businessman, who was a refugee once, wrote a piece for The New York Times about Expedia, which was in favor of the lawsuit against Trump’s immigration ban.
The CEO tweeted, “Standing up for our travelers and our immigrant roots.”
New acquisitions paying off for Expedia
For the fourth quarter, Expedia did not perform as expected, but its acquisitions are now starting to pay off. The company reported a profit of $183 million or $1.17 per share in the fourth quarter, below the analyst estimate of $1.36. Revenue, on the other hand, surged 23% to $2.09 billion, outperforming the consensus estimate of $2.07 billion.
Orbitz Worldwide and vacation rental marketplace HomeAway added $764 million and $689 million, respectively, in revenue in the last fiscal year. Hotels are still the major contributor to Expedia’s business, accounting for 61% of its worldwide revenue last year. Still, its packages and tours segment is growing fast with an increase of 35% in bookings. Its flight and car reservations were up 32% and 30%, respectively.
On Thursday, Expedia shares closed up 0.33% at $123.25. Year to date, the stock is up almost 9%, while in the last year, it is up almost 32%.