By Preetika Rana 

Airbnb Inc. posted a steep fourth-quarter loss in its first earnings as a public company, as costs tied to its market debut capped a year in which the coronavirus pandemic ravaged the travel industry.

The home-sharing company reported a $3.9 billion loss in the three months through December, which included a charge of $2.8 billion for stock compensation tied to its initial public offering during the quarter. That compared with a loss of $351 million in the same period a year earlier. The latest loss brought the company's full-year deficit to $4.6 billion, more than its losses in the previous four years combined. The loss exceeded the average forecast of analysts surveyed by FactSet.

Revenue exceeded Wall Street's expectations. Airbnb saw revenue evaporate in the early months of the health crisis, but that started to change as scores of people used the platform to plan nearby trips in the summer. Fourth-quarter revenue fell 22% year-over-year to $859 million. Full-year revenue fell 30% to $3.3 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected fourth-quarter revenue to decline 33% and full-year revenue to drop 32%.

Airbnb has been the bellwether of an otherwise battered travel industry. Chief Executive Brian Chesky successfully pivoted the company's strategy to focus on rural stays while hotels in big cities suffered.

Write to Preetika Rana at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 25, 2021 16:30 ET (21:30 GMT)

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