Travelzoo’s Stock Tumbles After Q4 Results Disappoint

Travelzoo’s stock is down almost 10 percent, or $3 a share, in late trading after its fourth-quarter revenues disappointed analysts.

The New York-based company, which sells travel deals and daily deals via email and from its Web site, said fourth-quarter revenues totaled $35.2 million, falling below analyst expectations of $38.7 million.

However, Travelzoo did manage to return a healthy profit of 40 cents a share, exceeding estimates of 35 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters, which conducted a survey of analysts.

The company is Groupon’s closest publicly held competitor, other than Google or Amazon, which don’t break out results from daily deals. Groupon was also trading lower today, falling about 3 percent, or 59 cents, to $19.49 a share. Groupon will report fourth-quarter earnings in two weeks on Feb. 8.

In a statement, CEO Chris Loughlin said despite a slower period for travel advertising in the fourth quarter, revenues in that period grew faster year over year than in any quarter in four years.

A majority of its revenues are still coming from travel. For instance, in 2011, Travelzoo reported that 57.8 percent of deals sold were for travel and only 26.7 percent came from local discounts. Search revenues coming from comparison shopping sites such as SuperSearch and made up for the remainder.

Still, it is local that is growing the fastest. In North America, local deals grew 196 percent year over year.

The company ended the period with 21.5 million subscribers in North America and Europe, up 14 percent from the end of 2010.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

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