What's going on?
Airbnb reported better-than-expected quarterly results late last week, after everyone ventured off the beaten track to take their Zoom meetings from the middle of nowhere.
What does this mean?
Globetrotting might still be on hold, but there have been plenty of itchy-footed workers taking advantage of their newfound WFH freedom by booking long stays in remote locations. And that’s been a relief for Airbnb, whose sales fell 22% last quarter from the same time the year before – not ideal, sure, but far better than analysts were expecting. That drop-off was also a big improvement on Expedia and Booking.com’s respective 67% and 63% declines, possibly because they rely more on out-of-favor business travel and traditional hotels.
Airbnb’s feeling surprisingly positive about the future too: the company’s preparing for a big travel rebound even if it can’t say exactly when it’ll happen, and investors – impressed by its can-do attitude – sent its stock higher.
Why should I care?
For markets: If in doubt, invest fancy.
That same expectation might be one of the reasons global hotel and leisure stocks hit all-time highs last week. Cue Soho House, which is reportedly polishing its finest monocle and reviving plans to make its stock market debut. The private members’ club reckons investors’ appetite for leisure stocks could bump its value to $3 billion – up from the $2 billion it was on just last year.
Zooming out: Food delivery’s running out of road.
It’s a different post-pandemic story for DoorDash, whose shares dropped late last week after the food delivery service reported better-than-expected sales. That might be because investors are wary that its worst enemy – dining out, shudder – might make a comeback. Then again, the fact more and more regions are capping the fees it can charge restaurants probably didn’t help much, nor did the benefits it’s now being told to pay its drivers – both of which could hurt its bottom line.