Airbnb shares sink on outlook even after growth jumps on increased bookings

Airbnb reported a record number of nights and experiences booked despite the economic uncertainties

Airbnb's shares tumbled on Wednesday nearly 11% after the company's forecast fell short of estimates. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
ABNB AIRBNB INC. 146.80 +0.02 +0.01%

This after revenue surged as the company notched a record in nights and experiences booked during the beginning of the year despite ongoing concerns over the economy and high inflation. 

The home share platform reported Tuesday that it garnered $1.8 billion in revenue for the first three months of the year, a 20% increase year over year and the highest first quarter revenue in the company's history, underscoring continued demand for travel. 

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This was driven by stable average daily rates and the app's growth in the number of nights and experiences booked, which reached a high of over 120 million despite the tumultuous economy. That's a 19% increase compared to the same period a year ago, according to the data. 

However, revenue in the second quarter may range between $2.35 billion to $2.45 billion, with the low end below analyst expectations. 

AIRBNB ENHANCES PRIVATE ROOM STAYS AMID UNCERTAIN ECONOMY

Net income notched $117 million, a significant uptick from the net loss of $19 million in the same three-month span a year ago, the company reported. Airbnb was also left with $1.6 billion in cash flow, a key measure of profitability, which is its highest to date. 

Airbnb

A sign displaying the logo of the online lodging service Airbnb hangs outside an apartment building at the Roma neighborhood in Mexico City on February 2, 2023. (ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Compared to pre-pandemic times, Airbnb is twice the size on a gross booking value and revenue basis as people continue to prioritize travel. 

"Even with continued macroeconomic uncertainties, we have seen our highest number of active bookers, demonstrating both loyalty from our returning guests and a growing base of first-time bookers," Airbnb said in its report. 

The earnings report came just a week after the company announced a rewed push for Airbnb Rooms – which is being billed as a cheaper option than entire homes or hotel rooms – in order to attract even more travelers.

Airbnb attributed its success during the quarter to a variety of trends including an uptick in supply and continued demand in travel. There was a particular an increase in users booking longer stays, taking trips overseas and staying in urban areas, according to the data. 

The company, which has been trying to close the gap between the number of people visiting its hosting page and those who host, said it saw an uptick in active listings in all regions. 

AIRBNB’S STRATEGY FOR WEATHERING HIGH INFLATION, ECONOMIC HEADWINDS

In the first quarter of 2023, total active listings only grew 18% year over year with Airbnb seeing the most significant growth in its North America and Latin America markets. However, this was only a slight uptick from the 16% growth the company saw the prior quarter. 

SPAIN - 2021/04/15: In this photo illustration, the Airbnb app seen displayed on a smartphone screen with the Airbnb website displayed on a laptop in the background. (Photo Illustration by Thiago Prudencio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The Airbnb app seen displayed on a smartphone screen with the Airbnb website displayed on a laptop in the background.  (Thiago Prudencio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Still, since going public two years ago, the company saw an acceleration in year-over-year growth in total active listings, excluding China, in every quarter. 

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More users are also traveling overseas with cross-border nights booked growing by 36% in the quarter compared to a year ago. 

While the company is in over 220 countries and regions, it says its "still under-penetrated in many markets" and has been investing in less mature international markets as a result. 

Nights booked in high-density urban areas also increased by 20% compared to the same period a year ago. 

*This story, originally published on 5-9-23, was updated with the closing stock price.