Kayak issued the ninth amendment to its initial public offering prospectus and indicated it intends to make a big push to expand its hotel offerings.
For those reading the tea leaves, there was little new information about whether an IPO is imminent or still on hold, as it has been since November 2010.
For the full year 2011, Kayak revealed that its profits grew 20.8% to $9.7 million on $224.5 million in revenue, a 31.5% jump over 2010.
Revenue growth was driven primarily by a 41.7% increase in queries, thanks to increased marketing, the May 2010 acquisition of Swoodoo and checkfelix.com a month later, as well as the partnership to power Bing Travel's flight search, which Kayak started to do in March 2011.
Kayak's queries from mobile, including its apps and mobile website, were 14.1% of total queries in 2011, compared with 8.2% in 2010.
However, Kayak says "we earn revenue at a lower rate" for mobile queries versus traditional online queries.
On the hotel front, Kayak saw its hotel revenue grow by $9.8 million or 40% in 2011. Travelocity's World Choice Travel in 2011 began powering a book Kayak option on Kayak.com on a white label basis.
So Kayak sees a big opportunity in hotels.
"We believe that the number of consumer choices, combined with the predominantly fixed nature of hotel operating costs, results in a willingness of hoteliers to pay a premium for quality referrals and offers attractive opportunities for future growth," Kayak states.
Kayak adds: "To capture this opportunity, we are improving our hotel query functionality and content, increasing our hotel-related marketing and search engine spending, improving cross-promotion of hotels in flight query results and increasing the number of hotels that can be booked directly through our websites and mobile applications."
In 2012, Kayak has begun experimenting with split-booking rates for hotels. This enables users to split certain hotel stays between two bookings, reaping savings because of the divergent rates.
In other Kayak news, an arbitration panel hearing a Kayak-Orbitz Worldwide dispute over exclusivity provisions and payments issued an interim order, "with limited exceptions," backing Kayak's side of the argument, Kayak says.
Orbitz contended that Kayak violated exclusivity provisions the two parties had agreed to and claimed that Kayak owed Orbitz some $2.5 million in overpayments, but the arbitration panel apparently decided mostly in Kayak's favor.
Orbitz Worldwide spokesperson Chris Chiames characterizes the arbitration decision thusly:
The arbitration panel reached a mixed decision in our dispute with Kayak concerning its exclusivity obligations to Orbitz. The panel ruled that in certain instances Kayak has violated its obligations to Orbitz, but the ruling fell short of our expectations in other instances. While we would have preferred an unequivocal outcome in support of the Orbitz position, traffic from metasearch has become a smaller and less significant part of our mix as we focus on enhancing our capabilities to secure customers and quality traffic from a broad variety of sources with effective search engine tools and strategies.
A final decision is due, pending an audit, Kayak says.
Orbitz Worldwide is one of Kayak's largest partners, accounting 12% of Kayak's total revenue in 2011.
However, Expedia Inc. is Kayak's largest partner, chipping in for 24% of Kayak's total revenue.