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Airbnb Inc. on Tuesday reported results that show continued recovery from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic — and then some.

“Two years into the pandemic, Airbnb is substantially stronger than ever before,” executives wrote in a letter to shareholders.

The lodging-booking company recorded 102.1 million nights and experiences booked in the first quarter, the first time it has hit the 100 million mark in a quarter, beating analysts’ expectation of 100.8 million. That was an increase of 26% compared with the first quarter of 2019, and excluding Asia Pacific it was up almost 40%. Gross bookings were $17.2 billion, compared with analysts’ expectation of $16.6 billion and up 73% compared with the 2019 quarter.

After exceeding analysts’ expectations for the first quarter and issuing an optimistic forecast for the current period, Airbnb ABNB, -5.09% shares rose more than 5% after hours. They had fallen 5.1% in the regular session to close at $145, were the worst performer in the Nasdaq 100 on Tuesday and had been down five of the past six days.

On the earnings call, Airbnb Chief Executive Brian Chesky said “people are also more confident booking travel further in advance, and we’re seeing strong demand for summer bookings and beyond.” Airbnb has seen 30% more nights booked for the summer season as of the end of April, more than during the comparable time in 2019.

Bookings increased despite the average daily rates being higher for consumers. In the first quarter, they were at $168, up 37% compared to the same quarter in 2019. In its letter to shareholders, the company attributed the rise in prices to strong demand and industry-wide price appreciation. On the call, Chief Financial Officer Dave Stephenson said he expected that to “moderate” in the second half of the year.

Chesky also said the travel trends that grew during the pandemic, such as domestic, non-urban and longer stays, are “here to stay.” Combined with the recovery of what he called Airbnb’s bread and butter of urban and cross-border travel, the company expects to be well-positioned as the pandemic rebound continues and despite any possible inflationary pressure.

Airbnb reported a first-quarter net loss of $19 million, or 3 cents a share, compared with $1.2 billion, or $1.95 a share, in the year-ago period, and $292 million in the first quarter of 2019. Revenue rose to $1.5 billion from $886.9 million in the year-ago quarter, a 70% year-over-year increase and an 80% improvement from the same prepandemic quarter.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast a net loss of 25 cents a share on revenue of $1.45 billion.

The company said it expects second-quarter revenue of between $2.03 billion and $2.13 billion, and for gross nights and experiences booked to be similar to the first quarter. Analysts were forecasting earnings of 29 cents a share on revenue of $1.96 billion, according to FactSet.

Shares of Airbnb have fallen nearly 13% so far this year. By comparison, the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.48% is down more than 13% year to date.

Source: This post first appeared on http://marketwatch.com/

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