Airbnb stocks falls 15% after company forecasts revenue slowdown

Airbnb (ABNB) stock tumbled Wednesday as the company expects bookings and average daily rates to decline in the current quarter when compared to last year.

“Q2 is turning out to be a little bit tougher comp given Omicron last year, but we’re seeing overall stable demand for the back half,” Airbnb CFO David Stephenson said on the company’s earnings call. Stephenson’s comments came after the company reported first quarter results that beat expectations.

Airbnb stock fell as much as 15% in pre-market trade on Wednesday.

Here are the notable numbers from the company’s earnings report, as compared to Wall Street’s expectations as compiled by Bloomberg:

Revenue: $1.8 billion actual versus $1.79 billion estimated

EPS: 18 cents actual versus 12 cents estimated

Nights and Experiences Booked: 121.1 million actual versus 122.4 million estimated

Q2 Revenue Guidance: $2.35 billion-$2.45 billion actual versus $2.42 billion estimated

Airbnb also announced a new $2.5 billion stock buyback.

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky noted on the call that the company’s most price sensitive costumers are in North America, particularly in the United States.

“The lowest price listings have the highest occupancy,” Chesky said on the earnings call. “So yes, people do want low price listings. And we expect that as Airbnb rates continue to normalize, and hopefully, our rates do not increase as fast to hotels over the next couple of years that we’re going to see continued increase in occupancy for more listings in Airbnb.”

Analysts across Wall Street slashed their price targets in reaction to Airbnb’s weaker than expected 2023 outlook. John Colantuoni an equity analyst at Jefferies who has a Buy rating on the stock, lowered his price target from $155 to $140. Colantuoni noted the primary concerns for Airbnb shares center around slowing Nights and Experiences growth and efforts to reduces prices to reignite demand.

“We will be closely watching for an inflection in demand,” Colantuoni wrote in a note to clients.

A woman talks on the phone at the Airbnb office headquarters in the SOMA district of San Francisco, California, U.S., August 2, 2016. REUTERS/Gabrielle Lurie

In an effort to contextualize the miss on nights and experiences booked, the company’s shareholder letter reads: “Nights and Experiences Booked grew 19% in Q1 2023 compared to a year ago. 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. Our current backlog of nights is approximately 25% stronger than a year ago.”

The pressure was on for Airbnb this cycle — other travel names like Expedia (EXPE) and Booking Holdings (BKNG) reported solid results last week.

Looking ahead, Airbnb is looking to increase host supply. “Traveling on Airbnb is mainstream,” the letter reads. “We want hosting to be just as popular. To achieve this, we are raising awareness around hosting, making it easier to get started, and providing even better tools for Hosts.”

The company’s also staring down a key summer travel season, one in which online travel demand has fully found its way forward post-COVID while macroeconomic concerns linger. Airbnb said it has spent substantially on marketing leading up to this summer.

“In 2023, we have pulled forward the timing of marketing spend to be more heavily weighted in the first half of the year as compared to 2022,” according to the company’s shareholder letter. “In addition, we are increasing our brand marketing investment in more countries around the world. We believe spending earlier in the year helps to support the peak summer travel season.”

Allie Garfinkle is a Senior Tech Reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter at @agarfinks and on LinkedIn.

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