The market caps of this popular marketplace for stays and experiences is notable for its volatility. Airbnb's IPO was made in December of a pandemic 2020, as the company decided to stick to its previously announced plans of going public. It was a hard time for many businesses yet the company's share price rose from the IPO day's level below $150 to $206.35 two months later. Demand was high at the peaks of economic reopening, especially as renting apartments suffered less from the COVID restrictions than hotels. When that wave of excitement fell, the following price correction led Airbnb stock to test the lows at nearly $82, which gave many investors a favourable price discount for the stock. Later it recovered to above $150, which many may feel as still not enough for the successful and growing business.

The latest significant decline of the broad market in the autumn of 2023 confirmed the crowd was hungry to pick up Airbnb very quickly at prices like $115-120 per share. Thus, a nearly 5% drop to follow a still basically solid Q4 sales numbers on February 13 could rather be interpreted by the market community as a good, or maybe even the last chance, to purchase the stock at a price range between $140 and $145 before it would be ready to continue its temporarily interrupted march toward former top levels. There is less doubt about this scenario for the future after the S&P 500's broad barometer recently took the dream height of 5,000 points.

The reason behind a moderate decline was only that the travel application's management specifically mentioned a slowdown in room-night bookings growth for Q1. In a letter to shareholders, Airbnb CEOs said that a "tough year-on-year comparison" could hit the growth rate of nights booked in the beginning of 2024, compared to its prior three-months period. The average day rate, which is a measure of how much hosts charge their guests, is expected to be flat, which is not promising a profitable quarter, while the growth in sales numbers is seen "decelerating to between 12% to 14%", down from a 17% increase in Q4.

We consider it a rather ordinary seasonal factor. Again, the one-time loss of $0.55 per share in Q4 on growing revenue could be easily explained by a $1 billion in one-off tax charges. The rest of the year is going to be better for tourism and business trips, taking into account possible wind change on foreign exchange markets when the Fed and the ECB would start rates cutting process. A global supply of accommodations "continues to grow nicely", according to Morgan Stanley group of analysts. Airbnb itself announced a new $6 billion buyback program, which is a positive sign, while its CEO Brian Chesky called a year of 2024 as an "inflection point" in his company's aspirations to expand its services. So, target prices at least around $180 per share probably look achievable and reasonable for the second half of the year.