What's going on?
Looks like people are finally getting outnabout again: online travel platform Airbnb booked quarterly revenue that beat analysts’ expectations, initially sending its shares up 2% on Friday.
What does this mean?
Vaccine rollouts sure are proving a shot in the arm for Airbnb. With travel restrictions gradually lifting, the company’s global bookings were up 13% last quarter compared to the same time last year. Unlike a trip to Venice in peak tourist season, that was even better than investors had imagined – and a welcome change after a solid year of declines.
The value of those bookings was also higher than expected as customers treated themselves to more expensive trips – with non-urban and whole-family vacations in particular more popular than usual. The only downer was Airbnb’s profitability, which fell well short of estimates as the company repaid some of the hefty debt it took on at the height of the pandemic.
Why should I care?
For markets: IP-whoa there.
Travel demand may be rising, but Airbnb’s five-month-old stock price is over 30% below its mid-February highs. True, there’s been a broader tech selloff, but other recent stock market debutantes – including DoorDash and Coinbase – have done particularly poorly recently too. Whether that’s because investors are worried about inflation or just because they realized they got a bit ahead of themselves, they might now be a bit more measured about upcoming market listings.
Zooming out: Not another box set.
One company that’s less happy about families leaving the house again is Disney, which admitted late last week that its formerly fast-growing Disney+ streaming service attracted fewer new customers than expected last quarter. While Mousecorp maintains it can more than double subscriber numbers to a Netflix-esque 260 million by 2024, Disney+ will also need to improve its average revenue per customer. That’s currently less than half that of its streaming rival, which is only now generating enough cash to actually fund its operations.