Airbnb shares enjoy the best day since IPO, as analysts call the company the ‘best travel asset’

Airbnb Inc.’s resilience to the continued slowdown in travel due to the pandemic, as well as its position vis-à-vis its peers, led to positive reviews of its first analyst earnings report and soaring share prices on Friday.

Airbnb ABNB,
+ 13.34%
The shares rose as much as 17.6% in Friday’s trading session before ending the day 13.3% higher at $ 206.35. The shares had their best day since the company’s initial public offering in December, just one day after its worst trading session yet.

The online travel booking site, whose lodging options mainly consist of houses or rooms in houses, reported earnings results that beat expectations on Thursday, prompting analysts like those at Jefferies to call the company “the best. active in travel. ” Jefferies, which has a buy rating on the stock, raised its price target from $ 182.06 to $ 210.

Despite a loss of nearly $ 4 billion in the fourth quarter, Airbnb posted growth in revenue, bookings and nights of stays that beat expectations.

“In the company’s first quarter, Airbnb showed that travel demand recovery is almost double that of its peers with gross bookings of -31% versus 2019 levels compared to Booking at -65% and Expedia at -67%, “Barclays’ Ross Sandler wrote in a note to investors, comparing Airbnb to rival online travel companies Booking Holdings Inc. BKNG:
+ 2.43%
and Expedia Group Inc. EXPE,
+ 2.43%.
Barclays, which has an equal weight rating on Airbnb shares, raised its price target from $ 140 to $ 180.

Sandler isn’t the only one who thinks Airbnb has an edge over its competitors.

“Airbnb’s results and guidance stand out in a still very challenging travel environment,” wrote Jake Fuller of BTIG Research, which has a neutral rating on the shares. “We anticipate a continued preference for alternative accommodations over traditional lodging options this year with lingering security concerns.”

Although most analysts were impressed with the company’s results, they have lingering concerns and more subdued suggestions on the stock.

“While we are supportive of Airbnb’s outlook, demand / supply and competition factors could change significantly as we exit the pandemic,” wrote Brian Fitzgerald of Wells Fargo, while expressing concern about a partial expiration of the lockdown for the shares, which Wells rates as of equal weight. “With the shares well above their IPO price, satisfying the conditions for the ‘second launch window’, we believe that 27.8 million shares will be eligible for sale on Monday 3/1”.

Mizuho’s James Lee, who maintained his neutral rating on the stock while raising his price target from $ 150 to $ 176, said “We prefer to wait for a more attractive entry point,” while Raymond James’s Aaron Kessler wrote: ” We think the stocks are fairly valued at current levels. “

At least 17 of the 34 analysts tracked by FactSet increased their price targets on the stock after the earnings report, bringing the average price target to $ 183.96, which is still more than 10% below prevailing rates. . Most analysts consider the stock to be equivalent to a hold, 11 qualify it as a purchase, 20 qualify it as a hold, and three qualify it as a sale.


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