Today after the bell, housing rental giant Airbnb reported its performance in the fourth quarter of 2021. The numbers describe a company that has had a terrible start to the COVID-19 era, survived and emerged from the other side of the demand disruption in perhaps a better health than it came in.
The company’s profitability and improved revenues compared to 2019 are in stark contrast to the recent layoffs at Hopin. Hopin, a company that provides software that supports virtual or hybrid events, saw demand for its service rise at the same time that Airbnb saw its own bottom line deteriorate. And this week, Hopin cut a double-digit percentage of its workforce.
The pandemic gives, and then the pandemic takes away. Or maybe it takes away and then gives it back. You get the idea.
Let’s talk about the highlights of Airbnb’s quarterly results and our occasional bickering as we digest a world for tech companies that increasingly resembles the pre-pandemic days.
In the fourth quarter, Airbnb saw $11.3 billion in total platform activity (GMV), leading to $1.53 billion in revenue and $55 million in net income. For the full 2021 period, Airbnb posted $46.9 billion in platform activity, $6.0 billion in total revenue and a net loss of $352 million.
Analysts had expected Airbnb to report revenue of $1.46 billion for the fourth quarter, and adjusted earnings per share of $0.03 – Yahoo Finance pegs the company’s adjusted earnings per share at $0.08 for the year. quarter, so Airbnb took a top-and-bottom beat in the fourth quarter. The company also exceeded GMV’s expectations by about $200 million.
That all looks good, yes? Well, there are some reasons for being modestly critical of the company’s financial performance. Let’s talk underperforming and then take a look at how far Airbnb has come from its own pandemic low as its workforce cut spending and took on expensive capital to ensure its survival.
Okay let’s be mean
Some may find it bad taste to dig up the less salutary bits of an earnings report that has been generally positive, especially when the stock of the company in question is moving up in after-hours trading. to which we say, what’s life without a little nitpicking?
Airbnb shares rose 6% during regular hours, and another 4% after earnings fell. The street is happy.
The flip side of the sunny Airbnb coin is the following: