Airbnb expects holiday quarter bookings to moderate; stocks fall

By Aishwarya Nair

(Reuters) – Airbnb Inc forecast revenue for the holiday quarter that could come in below market expectations, saying a strong dollar had started to pressure its business and bookings would moderate, sending its shares tumbling by 7% after the bell.

The San Francisco-based vacation rental company posted third-quarter earnings and revenue that beat estimates.

But growth slowed to 29% in the July-September period, from 58% in the second quarter and 67% a year earlier, when people started traveling with a vengeance as COVID-19 cases declined and that people working remotely were booking for a longer term. stays.

Airbnb said in a letter to shareholders on Tuesday that it expects a continued, albeit choppy, recovery in cross-border travel as macroeconomic conditions persist.

“It’s really kind of a tough year-over-year compensation,” chief financial officer David Stephenson said in a post-earnings call.

“If you go back and compare to 2019, we see stable to growing demand across the world.”

The travel industry has seen a strong recovery this year thanks to the best summer travel season in three years, but it faces risks from soaring global inflation.

Airbnb shares have fallen more than a third this year, compared to a fall of around 19% in the broader market.

Chief Executive Brian Chesky sought to allay concerns on the call, saying the company expects “very strong demand” next year, especially from American travelers to Europe.

Airbnb guided fourth-quarter revenue between $1.80 billion and $1.88 billion, against analyst expectations of $1.85 billion, according to Refinitiv.

The company recorded its highest bookings in the third quarter, with nearly 100 million nights and experiences booked. Average daily rates climbed 5% year-over-year to $156.

The company, which generates half of its revenue from listings outside the United States, said rates were significantly higher excluding the impact of foreign currency fluctuations.

Major US airlines reported an increase in international travel, particularly to Europe, as travelers benefited from a stronger dollar. Airbnb, however, said the majority of travelers in North America and Europe had booked domestic stays.

(Reporting by Aishwarya Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath, Sayantani Ghosh and Leslie Adler)

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