Airbnb (NASDAQ:ABNB) Exceeds Q1 Expectations But Stock Drops

Full Report / May 09, 2023
Add to Watchlist

Online accommodations platform Airbnb (NASDAQ: ABNB) beat analyst expectations in Q1 FY2023 quarter, with revenue up 20.5% year on year to $1.82 billion. The company expects that next quarter's revenue would be around $2.4 billion, which is the midpoint of the guidance range. That was roughly in line with analyst expectations. Airbnb made a GAAP profit of $117 million, improving on its loss of $18.8 million, in the same quarter last year.

Airbnb (ABNB) Q1 FY2023 Highlights:

  • Revenue: $1.82 billion vs analyst estimates of $1.79 billion (1.72% beat)
  • EPS: $0.18 vs analyst estimates of $0.10 ($0.08 beat)
  • Revenue guidance for Q2 2023 is $2.4 billion at the midpoint, below analyst estimates of $2.42 billion
  • Free cash flow of $1.58 billion, up from $455 million in previous quarter
  • Gross Margin (GAAP): 76.5%, in line with same quarter last year
  • Nights and Experiences Booked: 121.1 million, up 19 million year on year

Founded by Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky by renting out a blowup bed on the floor of their San Francisco apartment, Airbnb (NASDAQ: ABNB) is the world’s largest online marketplace for lodging, primarily homestays.

Airbnb was founded on the premise that the travel industry had become commoditized into offering standardized accommodations in crowded hotel districts around landmarks and attractions. Their view was that a one-size-fits-all approach limited how much of the world a person could access, leaving guests feeling like outsiders in the places they visit. Airbnb enabled home sharing at a global scale and created a new category of travel.

Their innovation was instead of traveling like tourists and feeling like outsiders, guests on Airbnb can stay in neighborhoods where people live, have authentic experiences and live like locals in over 100,000 cities around the world. Airbnb’s platform also opened up a whole new revenue stream to thousands of people around the world; earning money on spare rooms. For hosts, Airbnb provided them an aggregation platform that brought global demand to individual’s doorsteps, while providing for pricing, scheduling, liability protection, and merchandising functionality to remove the friction from bringing their inventory online.

Marketplaces have existed for centuries. Where once it was a main street in a small town or a mall in the suburbs, sellers benefitted from proximity to one another because they could draw customers by offering convenience and selection. Today, a myriad of online marketplaces fulfill that same role, aggregating large customer bases, which attracts commission paying sellers, generating flywheel scale effects which feed back into further customer acquisition.

Airbnb (NASDAQ: ABNB) competes with a range of online travel companies such as Booking Holdings (NASDAQ: BKNG), Expedia (NASDAQ: EXPE), TripAdvisor (NASDAQ:TRIP), Trivago (NASDAQ:TRIV) and Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOG.L).

Sales Growth

Airbnb's revenue growth over the last three years has been exceptional, averaging 55.4% annually. This quarter, Airbnb reported a decent 20.5% year on year revenue growth, roughly in line with what analysts expected.

Airbnb Total Revenue

Guidance for the next quarter indicates Airbnb is expecting revenue to grow 14.1% year on year to $2.4 billion, slowing down from the 57.6% year-over-year increase in revenue the company had recorded in the same quarter last year. Ahead of the earnings results the analysts covering the company were estimating sales to grow 13.7% over the next twelve months.

Usage Growth

As a online marketplace, Airbnb generates revenue growth both by growing the number of bookings on the platform and the average booking size in dollars.

Over the last two years the number of Airbnb's nights booked, a key usage metric for the company, grew 33.5% annually to 121.1 million. This is among the fastest growth of any consumer internet company, indicating that users are excited about the offering.

Airbnb Nights and Experiences Booked

In Q1 the company added 19 million nights booked, translating to a 18.6% growth year on year.

Revenue Per Booking

Average revenue per booking (ARPB) is a critical metric to track for every consumer internet product and for Airbnb it is a function of the size of the average booking on the platform and what is Airbnb's take rate (cut) from each.Airbnb ARPB

Airbnb’s ARPB growth has been strong over the last two years, averaging 11.9%. The ability to increase price while still growing its nights booked reflects the strength of Airbnb’s platform, as its bookings continue to book more than last year. This quarter, ARPB grew 1.58% year on year, reaching $15.01 for each of the nights booked.

User Acquisition Efficiency

Consumer internet businesses like Airbnb grow by a combination of product virality, paid advertisement and occasional incentives, unlike enterprise products that are typically sold by sales teams.

Airbnb is very efficient at acquiring new users, spending only 24.1% of its gross profit on marketing over the last year. This level of sales and marketing spend efficiency is indicative of a combination of scale and a strong brand reputation, which gives Airbnb the freedom to invest its resources into new growth initiatives while still maintaining optionality in the business.

Earnings & Free Cash Flow

Investors typically look at a company’s operating income to get a sense of how profitable a core business is. Adjusted EBITDA is the most common profitability metric for consumer internet companies, similar to operating profit, but removes various one time or non-cash expenses to give a more normalized measure of profitability.

Airbnb's EBITDA came in at $262 million this quarter, which translated to a 14.4% margin. Over the last twelve months the company has been amongst the handful of the most profitable consumer internet business with EBITDA margins of 31.3%.

Airbnb Adjusted EBITDA Margin

If you follow StockStory for a while, you know that we put an emphasis on cash flow. Why, you ask? We believe that in the end cash is king, as you can't use accounting profits to pay the bills. Airbnb's free cash flow came in at $1.58 billion in Q1, up 32.2% year on year.

Airbnb Free Cash Flow

Airbnb has generated $3.79 billion in free cash flow over the last twelve months, an impressive 43.5% of revenues. This robust FCF margin is a result of Airbnb asset lite business model, scale advantages, and strong competitive positioning, and provides it the option to return capital to shareholders while still having plenty of cash to invest in the business.

Key Takeaways from Airbnb's Q1 Results

Sporting a market capitalization of $79.2 billion, more than $10.6 billion in cash and with positive free cash flow over the last twelve months, we're confident that Airbnb has the resources it needs to pursue a high growth business strategy.

It was great to see that Airbnb’s user base is growing. And we were also happy to see it topped analysts’ revenue expectations, even if just narrowly. On the other hand, it was unfortunate to see that both revenue and adj. EBITDA guidance for the next quarter missed analysts' expectations, the latter partly due to "changes in the expected timing of our marketing spend relative to the prior year". Additionally full year 2023 EBITDA margin will be similar to 2022, which is slightly below expectations and showing that the company will not be getting operating leverage on expenses this year. Overall, this quarter's results were not the best we've seen from Airbnb. The company is down 9.06% on the results and currently trades at $115.5 per share.

Is Now The Time?

When considering Airbnb, investors should take into account its valuation and business qualities, as well as what happened in the latest quarter. There are numerous reasons why we think Airbnb is one of the best consumer internet companies out there. While we would expect growth rates to moderate from here, its revenue growth has been exceptional, over the last three years. On top of that, its powerful free cash generation enables it to sustainably invest in growth initiatives while maintaining an ample cash cushion, and its user growth has been strong.

At the moment Airbnb trades at next twelve months EV/EBITDA 24.7x. Looking at the consumer internet landscape today, Airbnb's qualities really stand out, and we really like it at this price.

The Wall St analysts covering the company had a one year price target of $141.5 per share right before these results, implying that they saw upside in buying Airbnb even in the short term.

To get the best start with StockStory check out our most recent Stock picks, and then sign up to our earnings alerts by adding companies to your watchlist here. We typically have the quarterly earnings results analyzed within seconds from the data being released, and especially for the companies reporting pre-market, this often gives investors the chance to react to the results before the market has fully absorbed the information.