Opinion: Airbnb and DoorDash Offer Wall Street Different Post-Pandemic Futures as Stocks Move in Different Directions

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Airbnb Inc. and DoorDash Inc. went public close to each other in late 2020, then moved up to the earnings stage for the first time as a couple on Thursday to report similar giant quarterly losses. But that’s where the similarities between the two end. DoorDash shares plunged more than 11% in after-hours trading Thursday, while Airbnb shares rose slightly after the pair reported earnings that looked much worse than they actually were due to high costs. stock compensation associated with IPOs. And the outlook for Airbnb ABNB, -9.06% is much brighter than DoorDash DASH, -5.36%, which may just be a pure pandemic game that went public at its peak.

DoorDash, which delivers food from restaurants, grocery stores and small markets using independent contractors, gave a murky outlook for 2021. The company reported a significant loss of $ 312 million in the fourth quarter, primarily due to its $ 322 million in costs of delivery. Stock compensation associated with its public offering last year, even though its revenue soared more than 200% to $ 970 million and was better than Wall Street had expected. Read more about DoorDash and Airbnb IPOs As vaccine counts rise and closures end in the United States, consumers can choose to walk or drive to their favorite restaurants to pick up take out orders, or dine out as they go. improve the weather, or indoors, if they can. DoorDash recognized that reality, but still predicted that gross order volume will grow strongly in 2021, to a range of $ 30 billion to $ 33 billion, from less than $ 25 billion in 2020. “Behind our guidance for 2021 there’s the assumption of accelerated market reopens and a return to in-store meals, ”DoorDash CFO Prabir Adarkar told analysts on the company’s earnings call. “While we have seen many positive signals from consumers and markets temporarily reopening during the pandemic, we recognize that vaccination and full reopens could lead to more abrupt changes in consumer behavior than current data would predict.” DoorDash also faces pressure on both ends of its business model: restaurants who feel they are paying too much and drivers who feel they are not getting enough salary and benefits. DoorDash executives said they do not expect commission limits set by 73 jurisdictions to be upheld when “in-store” dinner resumes, noting they were tied to “emergency orders.” Executives said that even with the meager worker protections established by California‘s Proposition 22, the vast majority of costs associated with the new law will be “absorbed” into the company’s balance sheet, while also “being passed on in certain instances. ” DoorDash also intends to launch more expensive campaigns for similar laws elsewhere. On the other end of the spectrum is the Airbnb report. In Thursday’s results, Airbnb reported a loss of nearly $ 4 billion in the fourth quarter, but its 2020 revenue didn’t plummet as much as company executives had projected earlier in the year. In the worst part of the pandemic, Airbnb had predicted to investors that its 2020 income would likely reach half of 2019 income. But it turned out that many people were stuck working at home due to the pandemic, and they were able to change the scene. when staying in an Airbnb rental, often simply by driving to a nearby city. “In the face of the greatest crisis ever seen in the travel industry, our business proved resilient and our model was able to adapt,” Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky told analysts. He said that in the last year, many people are living more nomadically, due to their flexibility at work. “Even though borders were closed and international travel was reduced, many people found longer stays on Airbnb,” Chesky said. “Since they worked from home, they were flexible. A lot of people want to get in a car to travel nearby, staying in a local community. ”Airbnb also had good news for Wall Street on the spending front, noting that its selling and marketing expenses, as a percentage of revenue in 2021, will be below 2019, a year in which it had high levels of marketing. Airbnb is doing better than other travel-focused companies. Expedia Group Inc. EXPE, -3.44%, which is owned by rival VRBO, said in its call earnings earlier this month that saw an overall improving trend in its fourth quarter, driven by VRBO, but declined to break down specific results for analysts. The online travel company reported net income and losses in the fourth quarter that fell around the 64%. Airbnb is set to win if the pandemic continues and also if (or when) it ends. But DoorDash may have seen years of growth compressed into a few months, and what comes next. On is uncertain, no matter how confident his executives sounded Thursday. The effect of the pandemic on certain companies is clearly not as predictable as many thought. With the gradual rollout of the vaccine expected to help fuel some travel and some restaurant dining again, it appears Airbnb is emerging as another winner, while DoorDash may have experienced its peak.