Airbnb earnings: Stock pops after key guidance beat, no plans for layoffs

Airbnb (ABNB) reported its Q4 earnings after the bell on Feb. 14.

The company slightly beat on revenue and substantially on guidance, and the company’s shares popped by 9% in after-hours trading. In the company’s shareholder letter and subsequent earnings call, Airbnb said that, though tech companies have been laying off employees en masse, don’t expect to see the same from them.

“Over each of the past two years, we’ve modestly increased our headcount,” the company’s shareholder letter reads. “We ended 2022 with 6,811 employees, and currently expect to continue hiring at a judicious pace in 2023. Compared to 2019, our headcount is down 5% while our revenue is up 75%.”

Here are key numbers from Airbnb’s report today, as compared to analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg:

Q4 revenue: $1.9 billion actual versus $1.86 billion expected

Q4 adjusted Ebitda: $506 million actual versus $435.3 million expected

Q4 nights and experiences booked: 88.2 million actual versus 90.1 million expected

Q1 2023 revenue guidance: $1.75 billion to $1.82 billion actual versus $1.68 billion expected

In a letter to shareholders, the company wrote: “2022 was another record year for Airbnb. Revenue of $8.4 billion grew 40% year over year (46% ex-FX). Net income was $1.9 billion—making 2022 our first profitable full year on a GAAP basis. Adjusted EBITDA was $2.9 billion while Free Cash Flow was $3.4 billion, growing 49% year over year. Guest demand remained strong throughout 2022. All regions saw material growth in 2022 as guests increasingly crossed borders and returned to cities on Airbnb.”

Airbnb’s supply-and-demand balancing act

Ultimately, Airbnb is in a supply-and-demand balancing act. The company needs to attract hosts to the platform, while also attracting a substantial – but commensurate – demand from consumers. The company is optimistic about this balance heading into Q1, as the travel rebound provides a boost to demand.

“Nights and Experiences Booked increased 20% in Q4 2022 compared to a year ago,” Airbnb said in a statement. “In Q4 2022, we had our highest number of active bookers yet, demonstrating guests’ excitement to travel on Airbnb despite evolving macroeconomic uncertainties… And heading into 2023, we see a strong backlog for Q1 with longer lead times for bookings in Q4 2022 compared to a year ago.

Further, Airbnb’s been taking steps to bolster its supply of hosts, another area the company’s also expressed optimism about as 2023’s in full swing.

POLAND - 2023/01/20: In this photo illustration an Airbnb logo seen displayed on a smartphone. (Photo Illustration by Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

POLAND – 2023/01/20: In this photo illustration an Airbnb logo seen displayed on a smartphone. (Photo Illustration by Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

“Supply growth was also strong in 2022,” the company’s shareholder letter reads. “We ended the year with 6.6 million global active listings, which is over 900,000 more listings than we had in the beginning of the year, excluding China. This growth was driven by our global network, where demand drives supply, as well as product innovations that continue to attract new Hosts.”

In August, Airbnb announced its first-ever buyback, worth $2 billion. In the company’s letter to shareholders, it affirmed that this program is well-underway, having “repurchased $1.5B of our authorized $2B share buyback program.”

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

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