Short-term rental platform Airbnb (NASDAQ:ABNB) rewarded investors with holiday cheer to close out 2020. However, Airbnb stock is still not out of the woods regarding the pandemic.
The lockup period after its initial public offering (IPO) has just come to an end. This, combined with the continuing pandemic, adds more than a little risk into the mix for ABNB stock in January.
As I write this, Airbnb stock is trading slightly 6% lower since the first day of trading in 2021. This also marks the end of the lockup period, which is traditionally a volatile time as employees and insiders have the opportunity to sell shares, and in this case, take a nice profit.
Airbnb Is Considered a Tech Stock
Analysts are generally bullish on Airbnb stock. However one analyst from Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) sounded a cautionary note about the company’s ability to keep competitors at bay. This speaks to the appeal and the risk involved with Airbnb.
The company is a technology stock more than it is an entertainment stock. In fact, investors are buying into the company’s app. However, that’s where the risk comes in. While Airbnb arrived on the scene as a disruptor, the technology is no longer new. And there are already competitors such as Booking (NASDAQ:BKNG) and VRBO that are gaining strength.
Hope Is a Powerful Stimulant
Pent-up demand is the catalyst for Airbnb stock. Yes, it was a gutsy move for Airbnb to continue with its IPO despite the Covid-19 pandemic. And the company benefited greatly from the euphoria over a vaccine.
For the last several weeks, I’ve seen photos of smiling doctors, nurses, and other frontline workers receiving their Covid-19 vaccines.
That’s a fact that can’t be lost on speculative investors who understand that the fortune of Airbnb stock is inextricably tied to the recovery of the broader economy.
Airbnb has performed admirably during the pandemic. But to support a market cap that is over $87 billion at the time of this writing, it’s going to need more than just hope.
As we enter the new year, we’re learning two things regarding the Covid-19 vaccines. First, the rollout is happening at a slower rate than forecast. This appears to be a larger issue than the public’s reticence to take the vaccine, for now.
Second, public health officials are advising that it will still be some time before enough of the population is vaccinated to be able to call an end to the pandemic. So far these realities are not seriously affecting Airbnb stock.
Airbnb Stock Is a Hold
As the lockup period came to an end, there are now 37 analysts that have issued ratings and price targets for Airbnb. But to buy into shares at this level will require more than just wishful thinking. The company has been more successful than expected at navigating the pandemic. But at this time, it’s wishful thinking.
InvestorPlace contributor Tezcan Gecgil offered a potential price target of $125 as an entry point for investors looking to buy on the dip. That would mean allowing the price to drift down about 15% from its current level.
But is $125 even a good price? Bret Kenwell offered this thought for investors.
“Almost all IPOs eventually give us an opportunity,” he wrote. “Rarely do they upsize their IPO price several times before gapping up by 100% or more and never trade back down to a more reasonable entry opportunity.”
I want to own it, too, though I don’t want to pay 60 bucks a share,” said Shah Gilani, Chief Investment Strategist at Money Morning prior to Airbnb’s IPO. “So I’m going to wait and see if I can get it lower – maybe a lot lower – recognizing all the while that it might get away from me.”
Right now, Airbnb stock looks to be priced beyond perfection, but that doesn’t mean it can’t, or won’t, continue to go higher. So if you don’t jump in on the stock at its current price, then, as Gilani states, it may get away from you.
There’s a lot to like about Airbnb stock. But there’s still a lot of unknown to work through. I don’t think the stock will hit $60 anytime soon. But I’m not excited about this close to $150 either.
On the date of publication Chris Markoch did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
Chris Markoch is a freelance financial copywriter who has been covering the market for seven years. He has been writing for Investor Place since 2019.