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Yesterday afternoon, HomeAway announced Q4 earnings of $.00—or, as the company prefers to put it, “break-even”—per share. While these results are a hair below a CapitalIQ consensus estimate of $.01, they are a marked improvement from Q3’s $.27 loss per share.At the outset of the call, CEO Brian Sharples emphasized the substantial difficulties the company faced from macro trends in Europe, which accounts for over a third of all revenues, before moving on to more encouraging indicators of growth over both the quarter and the year. Key developments included:

• A total revenue increase of 28.5% from Q4 2010 (up to $58.5M from $45.5M), and a full year revenue increase of 37.1% (up to $230.2M from $167.9M in 2010). Driving this growth were strong renewal rates, which have increased slightly both on a sequential and same-quarter basis, a 21.5% jump in y/y paid listings, and a strong showing from newer, still-developing revenue sources such as advertising and a new payment platform.
• Adjusted EBITDA jumped from $43.2M in 2010 to $66.8M in 2011, reflecting a 54.5% increase y/y and a 3.25% increase y/y as percentage of total revenue.
• FCF rose by 24.4% in 2011, up to $64M from $51.5M in the prior year
• Revenue from the listings business, which continues to be far and away the company’s core business, increased 30.5% to $199.5 million from $152.9 million in 2010.As a percentage of total revenue, however, listings revenues dropped slightly as compared to the same quarter last year.

CFO Lynn Atchison predicted a continuation of this last trend in particular, as newer sources of revenue continue to grow at a faster clip than their core business. And while average revenue per listing climbed y/y from $311 to $321 in the fourth quarter, attention was drawn to the fact that the company’s expansion into newer, lower-priced markets would eventually challenge such growth—even as new features, such as a tiered listing price model, do their best to act as a counterbalance. The company projected 20-22% growth for both revenues and EBITDA in 2012, and remains confident in their ability to expand their core business while diversifying their sources of revenue going forward.

Fool On & Up,
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