Why Airbnb Shares Could Rise Next Week

In a whirlwind journey that began with a humble air mattress on a living room floor, Airbnb Inc. (ABNB) swiftly evolved into a global hospitality giant that forever changed the way we travel.

As the company prepares to make its grand entrance into the S&P 500 on Sept. 18, a new chapter unfolds, revealing a world of opportunities and challenges ahead.

What it means for investors

The announcement that Airbnb will join the S&P 500 signifies a significant milestone for the company and has several important implications.

First and foremost, inclusion in the benchmark index is a mark of recognition and prestige in the financial world. The S&P 500 is a renowned stock market index composed of 500 of the largest publicly traded companies in the United States. Being added to this index means that Airbnb is now considered one of the country's most influential and sizable companies. This recognition can boost investor confidence in the company's stability and growth potential.

Moreover, inclusion in the S&P 500 has tangible effects on the stock's performance. Many investment funds and exchange-traded funds track the S&P 500, so when a company like Airbnb is added, these funds need to buy shares of the newly included stock to mirror the index's composition. This increased demand for shares often leads to a surge in the stock's price, as we saw with the 8% rise on Tuesday.

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Additionally, being part of the S&P 500 can enhance Airbnb's visibility and liquidity in the market, making it more accessible to a broader range of investors. This increased liquidity can lead to more stable and efficient trading.

Challenges of inclusion

However, it is worth noting that this transition to the S&P 500 also comes with challenges. Airbnb's addition to the index may lead to increased scrutiny and higher expectations from investors and analysts. The company must continue delivering strong financial performances and meeting market expectations to maintain its position.

Despite the recent regulatory challenges in New York and a potential 1% annual revenue impact, Airbnb's inclusion in the S&P 500 reflects its overall strength and resilience in the market. With shares up more than 66% for the year and a positive earnings report, the company seems poised for continued growth and success as it takes its place among the giants of American business.

Seizing opportunities and adapting to trends

It may be quite simple to become distracted by a single quarter's figures when there is such a strong emphasis on how companies are managing the unstable economic environment. But it is always important for long-term investors to sit back and consider the bigger picture. The spread of Covid-19 posed a significant barrier to travel demand in 2020, resulting in a 30% decline in Airbnb's income. However, the travel sector was cyclical and impacted by shifts in economic growth even before the pandemic.

Looking toward the future of Airbnb, it becomes evident the company is poised for some exciting developments and strategic adaptations. Here's what investors can anticipate in the coming quarters.

The company's third-quarter revenue expectations of $3.3 billion to $3.4 billion signal a confident outlook. This outlook surpasses the consensus estimate, suggesting it is confident in its ability to continue generating strong top-line growth.

Further, the anticipation of record-high adjusted Ebitda, along with an improved Ebitda margin compared to the same quarter last year, indicates Airbnb is not just focusing on revenue growth, but also on profitability.

A notable shift in traveler behavior is also emerging, with longer stays becoming increasingly popular. Airbnb's report that long-term stays accounted for 18% of total nights booked in the second quarter underscores this trend.

The surge in month-long bookings is partly attributed to the flexibility afforded by remote work arrangements. Airbnb is well-positioned to capitalize on this trend, potentially becoming the preferred choice for those seeking extended stays.

Finally, Airbnb's introduction of “Airbnb Rooms,” with an average price of $67 per night, is a strategic move to make its services accessible to a broader audience, particularly budget-conscious travelers. This initiative aims to capture the next generation of travelers who seek value without compromising on quality.

Valuation

Airbnb's current price of $141.4 is significantly lower than its intrinsic value of $229.10, suggesting the stock may be undervalued. On the contrary, the price-earnings ratio of 41.23 indicates that investors are willing to pay a high price for each dollar of earnings. Similarly, the price-sales ratio of 10.5 suggests that the market values the stock at a premium compared to its sales.

The GF Value Line also suggests the stock is significantly undervalued currently based on historical ratios, past financial performance and analysts' future earnings projections.

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Takeaway

In conclusion, Airbnb is navigating the ever-evolving travel landscape with a blend of strategic prowess and adaptability. Its focus on revenue growth, profitability, supply expansion, affordability and unique experiences positions the company to continue its ascent as a dominant force in the travel and accommodation industry. Investors can expect a thrilling journey ahead as Airbnb explores new horizons and solidifies its place in the hearts of travelers worldwide.


Originally published on GuruFocus.com

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