TripAdvisor Inc. (NASDAQ:TRIP) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Feb 13, 2020 • 08:30 am ET

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TripAdvisor Inc. (NASDAQ:TRIP) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Good morning and welcome to TripAdvisor's Fourth Quarter and Year-End 2019 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions]

At this time, I would like to turn the conference over to TripAdvisor's Vice President of Investor Relations, Mr. Will Lyons. Please go ahead.

Executive
Will Lyons

Thanks, Tyler. Good morning, everyone, and welcome to our call.

Joining me today are Steve Kaufer, our CEO; Ernst Teunissen, our CFO; and Chief Experience & Brand Officer, Lindsay Nelson.

Last night, after market close, we distributed and filed our fourth quarter and year-end 2019 earnings release and we made available our Shareholder Letter on our Investor Relations website located at ir.tripadvisor.com. In the release, you will find reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures to the most comparable GAAP financial measures discussed on this call. Also on our IR site, you will find supplemental financial information which includes certain non-GAAP financial measures discussed on this call as well as other performance metrics.

Before we begin, I'd like to remind you that this call may contain estimates and other forward-looking statements that represent management's views as of today, February 13, 2020. TripAdvisor disclaims any obligation to update these statements to reflect future events or circumstances. Please refer to our earnings release as well as our filings with the SEC for information concerning factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those forward-looking statements.

Now here is Steve, who will share a few thoughts before we open the call up to your questions.

Executive
Stephen Kaufer

Thank you, Will, and good morning, everyone.

As we outlined in our Shareholder Letter, challenging 2019 hotel auction trends persisted in Q4 though our financial results were in line with our lowered expectations. We've taken action in our three important focus areas. Specifically, we've continued to focus on driving revenue growth outside of the hotel auction; we adjusted our cost structure to support continued strong adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow; and we've returned a total of $548 million of capital to shareholders through a special dividend and share buyback.

We also closed two acquisitions that further bolster our fast growing restaurant offering in Q4. More recently, we reorganized to align teams along our One TripAdvisor vision. These changes bring together and streamline the TripAdvisor user and shopping experience, leveraging our differentiated, people-powered planning consumer value proposition. Our target travelers, once they take a trip that's really important to them, come to us to plan that entire trip. We therefore expect our non-hotel-auction revenue will drive the lion's share of our future growth. We expect E&D revenue alone will exceed the hotel auction in 2020, and over the coming years, the relative size of these revenue lines will reduce the hotel auction's influence on our overall results.

In summary, we are enhancing our position in an attractive and competitive travel market and clearly differentiating ourselves from every other travel company. We continue to have strong unique assets, and our progress makes us optimistic about our future. We'll now open up the call for questions.