Airbnb Airs It Out, Roblox Touches Grass, Paramount’s Transformers
Welcome To My House
Great Ones take control now. We can’t even slow down. We don’t like to go out.
What? Don’t tell me you’re not into Flo Rida…
What’s a Flo Rida? Didn’t you just misspell a state?
Last night, Airbnb confirmed my bullish outlook on the company, reporting impressive quarterly results and boosting guidance … all because the pandemic finally appears to be winding down.
Let’s dive right into the numbers:
• Earnings per share: $0.08 reported versus $0.03 expected.
• Revenue: $1.53 billion reported versus $1.46 billion expected.
How’s that for a banger quarter?
But Airbnb didn’t stop there. The company boosted its first-quarter revenue guidance to between $1.41 billion and $1.48 billion — well above the consensus analyst estimate for revenue of $1.24 billion.
Now, everything wasn’t roses and mints on your pillows for Airbnb.
The company reported 73.4 million “nights and experiences” booked in the fourth quarter, while analysts expected 74.96 million. Airbnb still saw bookings grow 59% year over year. It’s hard to be mad at that kind of growth.
That said, anyone else think it’s kinda weird that analysts expected more bookings but less revenue during the quarter? Whatever expenses analysts factored in, they didn’t materialize. I mean, were they looking for more expensive soaps? More costly towels? Cleaning supplies?
This is Airbnb, man, not the Radisson. Costs won’t scale the same way they do in traditional hotels or motels.
That alone makes Airbnb much more competitive right now — and in a much better position to profit from the deluge of travelers looking to be anywhere but in their own homes.
Because of that pent-up demand, Airbnb is probably gonna experience its best year since the company went public:
That was the company’s statement following its quarterly release. Airbnb isn’t comparing growth to the depressed pandemic travel economy — it’s reaching back to pre-pandemic levels. That’s impressive, to say the least.
But what’s even more impressive to me is CEO Brian Chesky’s idea of a “travel revolution.” According to Chesky, Airbnb is focusing on the work-from-home movement with the idea that people can now live anywhere, for any length of time they want, as remote work options continue to grow.
It might sound strange to repeatedly hop across the country and live in different peoples’ homes year-round, but Airbnb’s data backs up this new normal.
For instance, trip stays have increased steadily for the past two years, with stays of more than seven days accounting for more than half of all bookings.
Furthermore, long-term stays of 28 days or more is the fastest-growing category for Airbnb, accounting for 22% of nights booked and up 16% from 2019.
The bottom line here is that while Airbnb went public at one of the worst possible times, the company survived the pandemic’s fire and is now ready to explode with growth.
Seriously … we’ve gone from “Don’t trust strangers online!” to “Let’s get a stranger from the internet to pick us up from the airport and drive us to another stranger from the internet’s house to stay for the week.”
What a brave new world this is.
The Brave New World Needs Brave New … Batteries?
If you were to drive a Nissan Leaf from coast to coast, you’d have to recharge the battery eight times. A Chevy Bolt, seven times. Even the Tesla Model X would need to be charged six times.
But with this new battery technology in your vehicle, you’d only have to recharge once … in a matter of minutes.
Not to mention, this stunning new technology is about to cut the cost of electric vehicle (EV) batteries in half … meaning by next year, an EV is expected to cost the same as a gas-powered car.
Going: Life Is Like A Roblox Of Chocolates
…You never know what you’re gonna get once earnings season rolls around. Unfortunately for Roblox (NYSE: RBLX) investors, today’s earnings assortment came squashed and missing a few tasty morsels in the form of top- and bottom-line estimates.
• Revenue: $568 million versus $604 million expected.
• Bookings: $770 million versus $786 million expected.
• Loss per share: $0.25 versus $0.11 expected.
Overall, it wasn’t … great. But why the drastic difference between the Street’s expectations and Roblox’s real-world performance? Well, as Jefferies analyst Andrew Uerkwitz put it: “Once stuck-inside kids and teens are now spending weekdays off their devices and out in the real world.”
Y’all remember those big buildings we used to shuttle our kids to for eight hours a day, five days a week? I think they were called … schools?
Well, contrary to what Alice Cooper might’ve told you, school isn’t out forever — even after a global pandemic. And while I’m sure today’s youth of the nation would’ve loved “no more pencils, no more books, no more teachers’ dirty looks,” they’ve still got some learnin’ to do … in the real world.
Hence Roblox’s flat daily active user metrics compared to 2021, where growth rates doubled and sometimes even tripled in a quarter.
Roblox investors clearly weren’t prepared for this snap back to reality as post-pandemic life returns to normal … seeing as those real-world RBLX shares crashed more than 25% today.
Going: SHOP ‘Til You Drop
Roblox investors must be buddy-buddy with Shopify (NYSE: SHOP) investors … as the latter group seemed equally stupefied by the online retailer’s report that revenue would slow in 2022 after growing 57% in 2021.
Never mind that last year’s growth was largely spurred by a bunch of bored pandemic shoppers stuck in their houses, sipping on that sweet, sweet stimulus tea.
I mean, the absolute nerve of these people to try to pick up where their lives suddenly stopped two years ago … before all kinds of businesses outside of Amazon started offering “subscription solutions” that turn regular products into recurring revenue. The absolute nerve, I tell you!
That said, if you’re a SHOP shareholder, today’s earnings report isn’t the end of the world as we know it (and yes, I feel fine).
For one, Shopify still posted a $1.36 per share profit on sales of $1.38 billion — beating expectations for $1.34 billion and rising 41% from the year-ago quarter.
For two, “[Shopify] nearly tripled revenue, more than doubled GMV [gross merchandise volume] and the Shopify team, and the number of merchants using Shopify is nearly twice as big as 2019 levels.”
Sure, Shopify might not see the same supersonic growth that it experienced over the last two years. But do you really think businesses are suddenly going to cut and run on their subscription models that Shopify helps manage … and that people will suddenly abandon the ease and convenience they’ve grown accustomed to by ordering stuff online?
I don’t think so. And I don’t think any tried-and-true SHOP investors think so either. So, if you’re looking at today’s 17% drop in Shopify’s share price and wondering if it just went on sale … you’re not too far from the mark.
Gone: ViacomCBS’ Vanishing Act
And just like that … ViacomCBS (Nasdaq: VIAC) is no more. The multinational media company is officially changing its name to Paramount Global, a rebranding effort that reflects its marketing push for its Paramount+ streaming service.
Honestly, it’s about damn time. ViacomCBS is a wordy mishmash that should’ve been trashed a long time ago … or at least when the company formerly known as Viacom launched Paramount+ back in March of 2021.
But that would’ve made too much sense…
Indeed. What’s more, Paramount decided to tout its new name at the same time it released fourth-quarter earnings. Maybe it was a diversion tactic … maybe not. But one thing’s for sure, the company’s name change did nothing to offset its latest earnings upset.
See, streaming services are expensive. There are all the operational costs that come with launching a new platform, as well as the costs associated with all that streaming content itself. And believe me, it adds up.
Maybe that’s why Paramount’s operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA) for its TV Entertainment unit plunged 73% this quarter. Or why adjusted OIBDA decreased 34% year over year for its Cable Network division.
But hey, in Paramount’s defense, you’ve gotta spend money to make money … and hopefully, those 9.4 million streaming subscribers it managed to add in the final three months of the year continue to add to the company’s bottom line.
VIAC investors seem unsure of the payoff proportions, though, which is why Paramount’s stock plunged more than 20% on the day. Ouch.
Editor’s Note: “Bio-Chip” Sparks Potential 199,900% Surge By 2025
It has no transistors. No wires. And it needs no electricity. Yet this new silicon microchip is about to drive mankind into a new era…
One small company has a patent on this new “bio-chip,” and you can take up an early position in their stock if you act right now.
Welcome back to poll day, Great Ones!
It’s the simplest, easiest and quickest way for you to sound off on the week’s hot-button issues — and the not-so-important issues too.
Granted, you can always rant and rave away in our inbox any ol’ day of the week. If you hit all the right buttons (or just make us laugh), you might even see your email here in Friday’s edition of Reader Feedback!
Now on to the conversation — the vacation, staycation, relaxation conversations.
Back when Airbnb first checked in to the public markets, we had polled you Great Ones on whether or not you’d bite on the stock. A whole 62% of you believed it was a horrible time to go public, what with that whole pandemic thing putting a damper on vacation plans, to say the least.
But the traveling times they are a-changin’ — just look at Airbnb’s latest report for proof. And today, I want to know if y’all’ve changed your tune on buying into the stock.
So, click below and let me know:
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Looking for last week’s results? Look no further!
We were staring directly at the sun last week — my eyes are still burning, thanks — and wondering whether or not you’ve invested in solar stocks.
A whole 47.8% of you have been sipping that sweet, sweet solar tea for years, apparently. And you can already guess what my question is gonna be: Which solar stocks are you hodling? Spill your sunshiney secrets!
Another 20.9% of you might dip your toe into the solar sector after its recent glow-up. But whoa, Nellie! Look at the 31.3% of you who said your stocks are hot enough without the solar rays. We’re all very impressed down here — I can tell you that.
Thanks to all of you out there who replied to the poll — and those of you who wrote in! We read through and appreciate each and every one of your emails. Promise.
So, if you want to make sure your email has a shot at being featured in this week’s Friday Feedback … you gotta write to us before Friday. Funny how that works.
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Until next time, stay Great!
Editor, Great Stuff