Thursday's Market Minute: Airbnb Files IPO Paperwork

On Wednesday, Airbnb announced it has submitted draft IPO registration to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Committee. The details of the financial information were not disclosed, and the specific shares offered were not provided.

This filing comes amid a troubling few months for the travel sector. Airbnb laid off roughly 25% of its employees in May while also trimming marketing costs and racking up billions of dollars in debt. Similar struggles have been felt by hotel peers Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. HLT, Marriott International, Inc. MAR, and BlackRock Corporate High Yield Fund, Inc. HYT. The hotel stocks are down roughly 24%, 38%, and 40% YTD, respectively. The U.S. Travel Association reported the industry lost about $330 billion in revenue since the beginning of March 2020.

However, Airbnb may be dabbling with the recipe for success in today’s tourism environment. The San Francisco-based home-sharing company saw more U.S. bookings between May 17 and June 3 than in the same period a year prior. The company also reported an increase in domestic bookings in countries outside of the U.S., like Portugal, South Korea, and New Zealand during the same period. This has also consequently kept Airbnb’s initial plans for a 2020 IPO alive. CEO Brian Chesky made mention they had originally intended to file on March 31, but the market uncertainty surrounding Covid-19 put those plans on a backburner. The company was previously valued around $31 billion – excluding recent debt issuances accrued as of late.

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