Airbnb Forecasts Strong Q1 Revenue

Airbnb, the leading short-term rental company, anticipates robust revenue in the first quarter of 2024, surpassing Wall Street estimates, driven by strong cross-border travel and increased bookings for longer-duration stays.

The company expects revenue in the range of $2.03 to $2.07 billion for the first quarter, highlighting the significant contribution from international travel as global air connectivity improves. CFO David Stephenson emphasised the importance of investing in expansion countries to further drive growth throughout the year.

Despite the positive revenue outlook, Airbnb’s shares declined 5% in after-hours trading, following a brief 9% surge post-earnings announcement. The company reported fourth-quarter adjusted earnings per share of 76 cents, exceeding analysts’ expectations of 62 cents.

During the fourth quarter, travellers booked 98.8 million nights and experiences, marking a 12% increase from the previous year, with particularly strong growth in Asia Pacific and Latin America. Notably, nights booked in China surged nearly 90% year-over-year.

Although the company experienced growth in bookings and revenue, it reported a quarterly net loss of $349 million, attributed to outstanding income tax obligations in Italy. Airbnb disclosed a payment of $621 million to the Italian Revenue Agency for tax years 2017 to 2021 and warned of potentially significant payments for 2022 and 2023.

Despite challenges related to tax obligations, Airbnb remains optimistic about its revenue prospects, driven by the resurgence in international travel demand and longer-duration bookings, signalling a promising start to the year amidst evolving travel trends.

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