The travel site earned $132 million, 92 cents per share fully diluted, on revenue of $2.89 billion during the quarter. This compared with net income of $177 million, $1.11 per share, and revenue of $2.61 billion a year earlier.

However, the departure of Kern, who had been CEO for four years, spooked investors the most. Expedia was due to open this morning at about $134 per share, a market capitalization of under $19 billion on 2023 sales of $12.9 billion. Shares in rival Booking Holdings (NASDAQ:BKNG) have been roughly flat over the last 24 hours.

Kern Not the Concern

But there should be a concern here for investors.

That was Expedia’s miss on bookings, $21.7 billion instead of $22 billion expected. Fewer purchases of hotel rooms could mean the economy is weakening.

Kern’s letter to employees was a “mission accomplished” note. During his term, he consolidated the company’s tech operations, pruned brand names, and launched a new loyalty program. He expressed confidence in his successor, Ariane Gorin, and said he would remain on the board after leaving on May 1.

The bigger question remains those booking numbers. Western ski destinations admitted their Christmas wasn’t as merry as advertised. There have been anecdotes from AirBnB (NASDAQ:ABNB) hosts of slower business.

Analysts are looking for any signs of economic weakness that will prompt talk of a recession or faster rate cuts from the Federal Reserve.