Roundup: Online revenue boosts Cheap Tickets past 2Q forecasts

3 min read

A 131 percent sequential increase in online sales carried Cheap Tickets Inc. (Nasdaq: CTIX) on a second quarter flight almost twice as high as analysts expected.

In results released after market close Monday, the airline ticket seller posted net income of $3.2 million, or 15 cents a share. First Call's survey of two analysts predicted earnings of 8 cents a share for the quarter ended June 30.

Internet gross bookings of $38.5 million resulted in online revenue of $27.1 million, a 113 percent gain from the first quarter. That was 28 percent of Cheap Tickets' overall second quarter revenue of $102.6 million, which itself represented a 131 percent gain from $48.2 million in the year ago period, when Cheap Tickets got just 6 percent of revenue online.

Phone sales and other revenue accounted for $75.5 million of net revenues in the second quarter this year.

Historically, the second quarter is the one for Cheap Tickets, said Michael J. Hartley, chairman and CEO. "Demand for leisure travel was very robust with several carriers flying at record load factors," he said. "We think it is significant that we set new sales records despite these high load levels."

Cheap Tickets added more than 450,000 registered users, bringing the total to more than $1.2 million. Increased advertising helped boost that figure, Hartley said.

The company's traditional telephone business grew 46 percent year-over-year. Hartley credited the opening of a new call center in March of last year with a "significant" portion of the increase.

Overall gross margin stayed even at 19.1 percent. More than 72 percent of gross bookings came from non-published fares, compared to 65 percent in the year earlier period.

"During the second half of this year we have scheduled an aggressive television and radio advertising campaign in order to raise brand awareness among our target markets." Hartley said. "The campaign will target Internet and call center users in several major markets throughout the US. The television commercials will run on a variety of national cable networks."

Other companies reporting quarterly results:

  • Pixar Animation Studios Inc.
  • (Nasdaq: PIXR)

    Steve Jobs' non-interim employer earned $6.4 million, or 13 cents a share in the second quarter. First Call's survey of right analysts predicted a profit of 11 cents a share for the quarter ended July 3.

    The computer animation company posted second quarter of $13.5 million compared with $3.8 million a year earlier.

    Pixar's earnings and revenues ebb and flow as new movies are released. The company's next production, Toy Story 2, is scheduled for release November, but the company has no feature film on the calendar for 2000, which has led a couple of analysts to downgrade the stock over the last two months.

  • Covad Communications Group Inc
  • . (Nasdaq: COVD)

    Revenues for the second quarter ended June 30, 1999 were $10.8 million, representing a 93 percent increase over first quarter of $5.6 million. The net loss for the second quarter 1999 increased to $41.9 million, or 61 cents a share, in line with analyst estimates.

    During the second quarter, subscriber lines increased 94 percent to over 16,700, from approximately 8,600 lines at March 31, 1999. Homes and businesses passed increased 38 percent during the quarter to 15.4 million from 11.2 million at March 31, 1999. Service ready central offices increased during the second quarter by 43 percent, to 534 from 373 at March 31, 1999.

    During the second quarter and early in the third quarter, Covad added seven new metropolitan regions, to bring its total to 16, covering a total of 37 metropolitan statistical areas or ("MSAs"), by launching service in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Minneapolis/St.Paul and Portland. Covad plans to cover 22 metropolitan regions or 51 MSAs by the end of the year.>