By Catherine Thorbecke, CNN
Shares of Airbnb fell more than 10% in trading Wednesday after the travel company offered a more muted outlook for the current quarter than some analysts had expected.
Airbnb on Tuesday reported strong revenue growth and a new record for bookings during the first three months of the year, in a sign that demand for travel remains strong despite lingering recession fears.
The company reported revenue for the quarter grew 20% to $1.8 billion, just beating Wall Street’s estimates. The company said nights and experiences booked on the platform hit a record high of over 120 million last quarter.
“More guests are traveling on Airbnb than ever before,” CEO Brian Chesky said on a call with analysts Tuesday. “We’ve seen our highest number of active bookers ever, despite continued macroeconomic uncertainties.”
“During the quarter, we also saw guests booking trips further in advance, supporting a strong backlog for q2,” he added. “We were especially encouraged by the continued recovery of Asia Pacific as nights booked in q1 increased more than 40% year over year.”
Airbnb also reported net income of some $117 million, compared to a net loss in the same period last year.
But the company’s guidance for the current quarter “disappointed on both the top and bottom line,” analysts at Barclays said in a note Wednesday morning.
In its letter to shareholders, Airbnb said it has pulled forward the timing of its marketing spend to the first half of the year to help support the peak summer travel season. The company is also increasing its brand marketing investment in more countries around the world.
Tom White, a senior research analyst at D.A. Davidson, said the lackluster guidance for the current quarter was likely impacted by the company deploying its brand ad spend earlier relative to last year, but noted it could raise concerns about demand, too.
Some skeptics of the company “may point to this as evidence that [Airbnb] is struggling to maintain its growth rate in a post-Pandemic global re-opening, and we believe there is some truth to that,”
But White wrote that he believes there continue to be “promising incremental” ways for Airbnb to unlock growth “over the next 12-24 months.”
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