Expedia reports strong third quarter earningsNews / OnlineBy Sean O'Neil | October 30, 2014Share This article was originally published on Expedia Inc, one of the world's largest online travel conglomerates, is doing better than expected.The Bellevue, Washington-based company posted strong third-quarter results today, with a gain that beat Wall Street and its own forecasts.During the quarter ended September 30, gross bookings rose 29% to $13,469.6 billion.Earnings: $1.93 a share. That beat by 19 cents what analysts anticipated as non-GAAP earnings of $1.74, according to FactSet.Revenue: Grew 22%, to $1,712.5 billion. That bested what Expedia Inc had been forecast to report as total revenue, which was $1.68 billion. The growth signals an approximately 20% year-over-year rise.Trivago, the company's recently acquired metasearch platform, drove more paid clicks to brand Expedia (US) in the third quarter than previous leader TripAdvisor. The return-on-investment is roughly comparable, says CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.One highlight is that Expedia Inc saw a 5% rise in average daily rates but itself experienced a 2% drop in revenue per room night on average. Said the company: "Revenue per room night decreased primarily due to promotional activities such as growing loyalty programs and couponing (particularly via its eLong brand in China) as well as efforts to expand the size and availability of the global hotel supply portfolio, including contracts signed as part of the Expedia Traveler Preference program."Share this quote Adjusted net income was $256 million — up from 27% from a year prior.On the conference call, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi looked ahead and flagged a potential slowdown in growth, as digital revenues might not offset declines in demand due to global economic weakness -- particularly with a slowdown in the rate of growth in China -- and the Ebola virus threat.He noted that Google's Hotel Finder is sending increasing amount of traffic Expedia Inc's way. The company is working on re-targeting to create "win-win" situations where it "spends more and makes more."He says its too early to tell if the partnership with HomeAway on vacation rental inventory has been a net positive.Looking back, it's turned out to be a good year for Expedia Inc, which also posted second quarter earnings that surpassed expectations with its strongest profit in some time.Full results on the investor site.