UPDATE 2-Expedia posts smaller-than-expected loss as travel demand picks up

(Adds analysts’ estimates, shares)

Nov 4 (Reuters) - Expedia Inc posted a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss on Wednesday, as easing COVID-19 restrictions and the online travel agency’s vacation rental business helped drive bookings.

The travel industry is seeing signs of a revival as countries ease lockdowns imposed to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic that has crippled the global travel industry.

Expedia’s third-quarter gross bookings fell 68% to $8.63 billion, and revenue fell 58% to $1.50 billion.

Net loss attributable to the company stood at $221 million, or $1.56 per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with a profit of $409 million, or $2.71 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company posted a loss of 22 cents per share.

Analysts on average had expected a loss of 79 cents per share on a revenue of $1.38 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Shares of Expedia rose 3.6% in extended trade.

Reporting by Shreyasee Raj in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi