Norwalk’s Booking Holdings is forecasting significant declines in its first-quarter revenue due to fears over the spread of Covid-19.
In a statement announcing its fourth-quarter and full-year 2019 financial results, Booking Holdings – whose brands include Priceline, Kayak and Agoda – said: “The coronavirus has had a significant and negative impact across our business during the first quarter. It is not possible to predict where and to what degree outbreaks of the coronavirus will disrupt travel patterns.”
Nevertheless, the company is forecasting declines in first-quarter revenue of 3% to 7%, and in earnings per share of 14% to 19%.
Booking Holdings CFO David Goulden said the company is forecasting first-quarter booked room nights to be down 5% to 10% over last year.
Booking Holdings’ total revenues for the fourth quarter of 2019 were $3.3 billion and its total revenues for 2019 were $15.1 billion, both 4% increases from the previous year.
“We were pleased with our fourth quarter and full-year 2019 results,” CFO Glenn Fogel said. “While the outlook for global travel in the near-term is uncertain due to the coronavirus, we will manage the business appropriately to enhance long-term value for our stakeholders.”
Other travel-related firms are also feeling the impact of Covid-19. Marriott International is forecasting a $25 million loss to its monthly fee revenue this quarter, while JetBlue – whose routes do not include Asia or Europe, where the virus is having the greatest impact – became the first U.S. airline to offer waivers for all travel, saying it was suspending change and cancellation fees for new flight bookings through March 11.