Airbnb slips as travel app warns of slowdown in room-night bookings growth By

© Reuters — Shares in Airbnb (NASDAQ:) fell in premarket U.S. trading on Wednesday after the travel accommodation app flagged that it would see a slowing in booking rates in its current quarter.

In a letter to shareholders, the company said that a tough year-on-year comparison would impact the growth rate of nights booked in its first quarter compared to its prior three-month period. The average day rate, or ADR, which measures how much hosts charge guests per day, is also expected to be flat.

Revenue growth is subsequently seen decelerating to between 12% to 14%, down from a 17% increase in the fourth quarter — a mark that was itself the slowest of any quarter in 2023 despite continued strength in international travel demand and foreign exchange tailwinds.

“Airbnb is a unique travel company, but we see this steady room night deceleration being a headwind to the multiple investors are willing to pay,” analysts at Morgan Stanley said in a note to clients.

The short-term rental group  a loss of $0.55 per diluted share in the fourth quarter, surprising estimates for a profit of $0.55, largely due to roughly $1 billion in one-off tax charges.

But the Morgan Stanley analysts retained some positivity around Airbnb, citing a global supply of accommodations that “continues to grow nicely.”

Meanwhile, Airbnb launched a new $6 billion stock buyback program, as Chief Executive Brian Chesky told investors that 2024 would mark an “inflection point” in the firm’s push to expand its services.

Yasin Ebrahim contributed to this report.