Airbnb warns of Delta affect on bookings, shares fall over 4% By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A woman is on the phone at the Airbnb office headquarters in the SOMA neighborhood of San Francisco, California, USA, Aug. 2, 2016. REUTERS / Gabrielle Lurie

(Reuters) – Airbnb Inc said Thursday that its bookings for the current quarter could be affected by the Delta variant of the coronavirus and a slowdown in vaccination in the US, which could cause stocks to fall more than 4%.

The company expects the nights and experiences booked in the current quarter to slow down from the second quarter and remain below the 2019 level.

“As we exit the second quarter and enter the third quarter, we have a combination of fewer bookings for the fall, just given the nature of some seasonality and any sort of potential impact on COVID concerns,” CFO Dave Stephenson said in a post -Earnings call with investors.

The hugely popular global app, which has resisted heavily since its severe pandemic last year, saw bookings more than quadruple in the second quarter to $ 13.4 billion.

It anticipates the third quarter to be the strongest on record as more people check into their vacation rentals after the COVID-19 restrictions are eased in most major economies.

Active entries were roughly stable during the health crisis and increased during the quarter, particularly in non-urban destinations in Europe and North America, the company said.

“In popular recreational markets, platforms are increasingly providing incentives for hosts to secure quality inventory to meet demand,” wrote Dan Thomas, an analyst at Third Bridge.

Hotels and other lodging establishments were hit hard last year when COVID-19 travel restrictions disrupted large parts of their business.

However, Airbnb received praise for quickly shifting its focus to local and long-term rentals, attracting people looking for accommodation to rent for remote work or that don’t require flying.

The company expects record earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) and margin for the third quarter.

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