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Airbnb shares were up 4.7%, at $174.44, in recent trading.

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Airbnb

shares are gaining ground Tuesday after Cowen analyst Kevin Kopelman upped his rating on the short-term real estate rental service to Outperform from Market Perform. He increased his price target to $220 from $160, implying more than 30% potential upside from Monday’s close at $166.67.

The bottom line: Kopelman thinks the Street consensus is far too conservative about the company’s outlook.

Airbnb shares (ticker: ABNB) were up 4.7%, at $174.44, in recent trading. The

S&P 500
was down 0.1%.

Kopelman writes in a research note that Airbnb will be a major beneficiary of the “hotel to homes” shift in the global lodging market, with a trusted platform for both urban apartments and vacation homes. The analyst estimates that alternative lodging is now 33% of global lodging dollars, up from 24% before the pandemic. He notes that Airbnb dominates the market—and calculates that the company will have more than half of a 2021 market that he estimates at $47 billion in gross booking value. 

“The brand is synonymous with the category,” he writes.

Kopelman also contends that the Street’s estimates are far too low for next year and beyond. He notes that consensus forecasts call for the company to grow 17% in 2022, down from 30% prepandemic and almost 100% growth this year. He notes that his own forecasts are more than 20% above the Street on gross booking value and more than 50% above consensus on earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or Ebitda.

For 2022, he projects Airbnb’s gross bookings at $65 billion, well above the Street at $54.4 billion. For 2023, he sees $81.2 billion, while the Street consensus is just $65.8 billion. He sees 2022 revenue of $8.5 billion, while consensus is just $7.2 billion.

Longer term, he sees Airbnb increasing its overall share of the lodging market to 11% by 2026, from 8% this year. By 2026, he says, the company should be generating $126 billion in bookings, nearly triple the $48 billion he projects for this year, with $8 billion in Ebitda, revenue of close to $19 billion, and profits of more than $8 a share.

Write to Eric J. Savitz at [email protected]

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