EXPE - Expedia Group, Inc.

NasdaqGS - NasdaqGS Real-time price. Currency in USD
52.83
+4.12 (+8.46%)
At close: 4:00PM EDT

56.61 +3.78 (7.16%)
Pre-market: 7:30AM EDT

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Previous close48.71
Open52.39
Bid56.22 x 800
Ask57.00 x 800
Day's range51.16 - 53.89
52-week range40.76 - 144.00
Volume4,935,353
Avg. volume3,910,258
Market cap7.396B
Beta (5Y monthly)1.45
PE ratio (TTM)14.01
EPS (TTM)3.77
Earnings date29 Apr 2020 - 03 May 2020
Forward dividend & yield1.36 (2.79%)
Ex-dividend date08 Mar 2020
1y target est106.22
  • Coronavirus restrictions to continue 'for a period of months,' even as outbreak slows: Mayor of Seattle
    Yahoo Finance

    Coronavirus restrictions to continue 'for a period of months,' even as outbreak slows: Mayor of Seattle

    Mandatory social distancing orders may be slowing the spread of COVID-19 in the Seattle area, home to the first coronavirus death in the U.S., but the city’s mayor, Jenny Durkan, warned against complacency, saying the Puget Sound region is still “a month or two away” from relaxing isolation rules.

  • Airbnb CEO Apologizes to Hosts With a $260 Million Relief Package
    Skift

    Airbnb CEO Apologizes to Hosts With a $260 Million Relief Package

    Faced with a backlash over its unilateral decision to refund guest reservations and leave hosts empty-handed while competitors took a more balanced approach, Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky apologized to hosts, and detailed a $260 million Airbnb relief package. In a letter to hosts sent Monday (embedded below) , Chesky said that the decision […]

  • How Travel Brands Are Approaching TV Advertising Now
    Skift

    How Travel Brands Are Approaching TV Advertising Now

    While some travel sectors such as airlines have virtually eliminated U.S. national TV advertising because of the coronavirus pandemic, there are some companies that are outliers in that they quickly pivoted their spots, or keep running the routine ads at the risk of brand damage. ISpot.tv, the U.S. television advertising analytics firm, looked at March […]

  • Sony Says Virus Disruptions May Hit Profit, Delay Reporting
    Bloomberg

    Sony Says Virus Disruptions May Hit Profit, Delay Reporting

    (Bloomberg) -- Sony Corp. said fallout from the coronavirus may wipe out a previously projected increase in its profit and force it to delay an earnings report scheduled for April.The Japanese company said two factories in China are returning to normal operation but continue to face component shortages, while facilities in Malaysia and U.K. will remain shut until middle of April because of government requests. Sony said it can’t dispatch employees to these locations to discuss assembly of new products.Sony had raised its forecast on Feb. 4, saying operating income will probably reach 880 billion yen ($8.1 billion) in the year ending March 31, compared with the 840 billion yen forecast in October. If profit comes in at the earlier figure, that would be a shortfall of about $370 million.“Given their high exposure to consumer spending, it is not surprising that COVID-19 is having an adverse impact on their business,” said Damian Thong, an analyst with Macquarie Capital.Sony joins a growing list of corporations forced to revise or scrap financial forecasts because of the virus.Apple Inc., Expedia Group Inc., and Twitter Inc. are among the technology companies that have withdrawn or modified guidance in the wake of the pandemic, which has disrupted supply chains, upended demand and forced millions of people to work from home. On Thursday, Dell Technologies Inc. and VMWare Inc. became the latest to withdraw their earnings outlooks.Sony had been benefiting from strong demand for the image sensors that power smartphone cameras, but production and sales of such devices have taken a hit in recent weeks. It supplies Apple and Samsung Electronics Co., among others.A Sony spokeswoman said it doesn’t see any notable impact on the launch of its next-generation game console PlayStation 5 planned at the end of this year.Sony shares have slid about 10% this year.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Google Travel Search Is Unrecognizable as Advertising Dries Up
    Skift

    Google Travel Search Is Unrecognizable as Advertising Dries Up

    Free links from travel companies are now appearing dramatically higher in Google Search on desktop and mobile — but it isn't because regulators have clamped down on the search engine or Google has reformed its advertising-tilted business practices. The dearth of travel advertising because of the coronavirus pandemic has made Google's pages look almost unrecognizable. […]

  • Facebook Warning Shows Threat to Google as Ad Budgets Shrink
    Bloomberg

    Facebook Warning Shows Threat to Google as Ad Budgets Shrink

    (Bloomberg) -- Google and other digital advertising companies are seeing revenue growth wither as marketers slash spending ahead of an expected recession triggered by the coronavirus.The global pandemic and the ensuing slump in economic activity is crushing several industries that have been big buyers of Google and Facebook Inc. ads, including online travel agents, automakers, restaurants and retail.“I’m hearing some big numbers, with ad spending down 30% to 50% across the board,” said Rob Griffin, founder of digital ad consulting firm G5 Futures. Some marketers will slash budgets by 80% or 90%, while others may stop for a while if they’re in sectors that are particularly hard hit, he added.Millions of people are sheltering at home and spending more time on social media, video streaming and other online services. That’s increasing the amount of digital ad space, but demand for those marketing spots is weak, so prices are falling.“The consumption is irrelevant, it’s completely irrelevant,” said Brian Wieser, president of business intelligence for GroupM, the media buying arm of advertising giant WPP Plc. “The total amount of money available is independent of viewership trends.”Facebook warned on Tuesday that its ad business is weakening in countries that are aggressively fighting the virus. Many of its services are being used more, such as messaging, but they don’t run ads, the company added. The day before, Twitter Inc. said usage has jumped, but global advertising is curbed, forcing the social-media company to slash its sales forecast and project a loss in the current quarter.“The sudden impact of the COVID-19 virus will ripple through the ad market,” Michael Nathanson, an analyst at Moffettnathanson LLC, wrote in a note to investors. “Given the sheer size of digital ad spending in today’s marketplace (i.e., more than 50% of all ad spend is now digital), we would expect other digital platforms to see significant deceleration in ad revenues in the coming months.”“We would suggest investors avoid catching falling knives at Google and Facebook,” he added.Google declined to comment on its ad business on Tuesday. On the company’s YouTube video service, viewing has jumped in the past week, but CPMs, the industry’s way of measuring ad prices, fell as much as 8%, according to one digital media executive who asked not to be identified discussing private figures.Shares of Google parent Alphabet Inc. and Facebook are down about 25% since the middle of February, so some of the digital ad downturn may already been priced in. Facebook stock dipped about 1% in extended trading after its warning. Alphabet was little changed.Longer term, Google and Facebook have big cash hoards and little debt, so they can withstand a deep recession, according to Bloomberg Intelligence internet analyst Jitendra Waral.The last major economic downturn was a boon to these companies. The 2008 financial crisis triggered a similar slump in advertising, but much of that was focused on traditional media. Online platforms took advantage of the moment, and pitched their ads as cheaper, more-targeted alternatives. Now, digital ads take in more than $300 billion a year from the largest corporations to the smallest businesses. Google and Facebook account for more than half of that, according to research firm EMarketer.Singapore Shuts Bars; India on Nationwide Lockdown: Virus UpdateLast week, as the scale of the crisis hit home, ad agency executives worked the phones, trying to help clients figure out what to do next. Some pulled out completely while others raced to adjust the tone of their ads.“You have industries that were extremely active as of a week ago come to a screeching halt: restaurants, travel, retail,” said Doug Rozen, chief media officer at advertising agency 360i. Other companies are still spending, but being more conservative, he added.Google and Facebook derive much of their revenue from small businesses, thousands of which could shut if a deep recession sets in. Both internet companies offer self-service ad platforms that can be switched off quickly.“Advertising is the easiest expense to cut, you can literally log into Google Ads and turn it off and start saving money,” said Ari Paparo, head of digital ad firm Beeswax Inc. and a former Google executive.Amazon.com Inc. recently cut back drastically on how much money it spends on Google ads. The online retailer is one of Google’s largest ad buyers, usually snapping up product listing ads to lure web shoppers to Amazon.Expedia Group Inc. and Booking Holdings Inc. each spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year marketing on Google, but these online travel agents have been hammered by the abrupt halt in flights, business trips and vacations.Booking Withdraws Already-Bleak Forecast, Citing CoronavirusBooking Holdings has pulled back “materially” on brand advertising, RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Mahaney wrote in a recent research note after meeting executives from the online travel company. The industry accounts for about 10% to 15% of Google’s ad revenue, with Booking and Expedia accounting for about 3% each, Mahaney estimates.Even businesses that don’t sell through the internet often purchase Google ads to encourage people to visit their brick-and-mortar locations. Last week, Being Yoga, a yoga studio about 15 miles south of San Francisco, was still buying Google search ads, based on the query “yoga near me,” despite being closed. Bloomberg News contacted the business, which said it had forgotten to switch the ads off.Retailers often buy Google local inventory ads that show online shoppers whether products are stocked in nearby stores. With many non-essential retailers shutting locations, demand for these ads may slow.“If stores are closed, we absolutely recommend they turn off local inventory ads,” a Google spokeswoman said.Real numbers showing the virus’ impact are beginning to emerge from China, which was hit first and shut down travel and non-essential businesses weeks ago.Advertising sales on China’s big digital platforms are projected to drop 20% to 30% in the first quarter of the year, WPP’s Wieser said. Automobile ads slumped 79% in China in February, a far steeper decline than any time during the 2008 financial crisis, he also noted. Most Google services are unavailable in mainland China, but in the rest of the world, automakers are another big ad customer.Even industries that are seeing higher demand, like consumer goods, are unlikely to advertise more right now. “Why would you advertise toilet paper right now? It’s not helpful,” Wieser said. “They want to curtail demand.”(Updates with YouTube ad prices in ninth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Here’s What Airbnb Is Confidentially Telling Potential Investors About a New Survey
    Skift

    Here’s What Airbnb Is Confidentially Telling Potential Investors About a New Survey

    Is an Airbnb inherently safer than a hotel stay during a post-coronavirus environment? And will Airbnb be better positioned than other companies to lead the future of travel? Airbnb is seeking new private funding, with about 20 investors expressing interest, but Skift subsequently obtained a confidential memo sent to suitors about a consumer survey as […]

  • Airbnb Mulls Cash Infusion From New Investors, Explained
    Skift

    Airbnb Mulls Cash Infusion From New Investors, Explained

    Airbnb had $2 billion cash on hand at the end of 2019, but with losses mounting, and a direct listing or an initial public offering impossible as coronavirus-burdened stock markets flop, the short-term rental giant may try to raise funding privately from new investors. [Update: A source close to Airbnb said some 20 parties, including […]

  • Airbnb Board Meets to Consider Raising Funds or Buying Assets
    Bloomberg

    Airbnb Board Meets to Consider Raising Funds or Buying Assets

    (Bloomberg) -- Airbnb Inc.’s board met this week to consider a wide range of options in response to the current economic crisis, which is weighing heavily on the business. The potential moves include acquiring distressed assets, raising more funding from private investors and revising plans for a stock market debut scheduled for this year, people familiar with the deliberations said.The home-rental startup has been approached by a dozen potential investors, according to the people, all of whom asked not to be identified discussing private information. The investors include venture capitalists, private equity firms and sovereign wealth funds, with potential deals ranging in size from $100 million to $1 billion, the people said. None of them has set a price tag for the company, but Airbnb is unlikely to maintain the $31 billion valuation it enjoyed during the bull market.At the same time, Airbnb is actively looking at acquiring distressed companies, particularly short-term rental providers, one of the people said. One possible contender is Sonder Inc., a San Francisco-based startup that lists rental units on Airbnb’s website. Sonder’s bookings are projected to decline 90% as a result of the pandemic, possibly extending to 2021, another person said. However, two people close to Sonder said it hasn’t engaged in deal talks. “Sonder is not for sale or being sold,” a spokesman for the startup said.The situation at Airbnb reflects a grave sense of uncertainty and panic felt across the business landscape, which is forcing most companies to reevaluate plans. Airbnb has said it would go public this year, but the coronavirus pandemic has taken a steep toll on the travel industry. Countries are closing borders to curb the spread of infection, and many places are going into lockdown. Booking Holdings Inc. and Expedia Group Inc. withdrew financial forecasts, citing the worsening impact of the virus, and hotels are seeking federal aid.Before the crisis, Airbnb had been leaning toward listing its shares directly for trading on the stock market this year without raising additional capital. It’s now reevaluating that position and may instead pursue a more traditional initial public offering to raise cash for the business, people familiar with the matter said. Airbnb, which was unprofitable before the outbreak, faces the likelihood of much steeper losses this quarter and next, after offering refunds for all reservations through at least April 14.Members of the Airbnb board are divided over the best way forward. The company has about $3 billion of cash and a $1 billion line of credit, people familiar with the matter said. CNBC earlier reported some details of the approaches from investors.“There is no way any company in the tourism industry is going public this year, absolutely no way,” said Greg Klassen, a travel industry strategist at consultancy Twenty31 with more than 25 years experience. “You need multiple quarters of profitability and to look like you’re in full control with nothing but blue sky ahead to help with valuations -- and none of those things are true today.”Large investors, including some of Airbnb’s own backers, have privately expressed concerns that the pandemic will dent the company’s results for the duration of the year and perhaps longer. In recent weeks, that uncertainty has been reflected in stock trading among private investors. The offer price for Airbnb shares have fallen to $105 as of Friday, from $150 before the pandemic.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Short-Term Rental Firms Face Backlash Over Sharply Different Coronavirus Cancellation Policies
    Skift

    Short-Term Rental Firms Face Backlash Over Sharply Different Coronavirus Cancellation Policies

    Like every sector in the travel industry, the short-term rental industry confronts a struggle to survive because of the novel coronavirus crisis. But when it comes to guest cancellation and refund policies, companies such as Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com, Tripadvisor, property management companies, and local players face an acute quandary — generate outrage from guests, or […]

  • Expedia Vice Chairman Tells Employees It’s Time to Focus and Help Our Travel Partners
    Skift

    Expedia Vice Chairman Tells Employees It’s Time to Focus and Help Our Travel Partners

    In an internal letter to employees, Expedia Group Vice Chairman Peter Kern told staff to set aside any projects that don't contribute to meeting the company's immediate needs and exhorted employees to help travel partners find business anywhere they can. “If you’re wondering how we might help our travel partners survive all this, well, our […]

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    US STOCKS-Boeing leads Wall St slump as corporate damage grows

    Wall Street's main indexes sank again on Wednesday, as growing signs of coronavirus damage to corporate America overshadowed a burst of optimism about sweeping official moves to protect the economy. Boeing Co took another big hit, falling 16.1% as the planemaker called for a $60 billion bailout for aerospace manufacturers facing the pain of an extended collapse in global travel. The S&P 1500 airlines index dropped 13% while hotel operators Hilton Worldwide Holdings, Marriott International Inc and online agency Expedia were among the top fallers on the S&P 500.

  • Amazon Cut Spending on Google Advertising in Recent Days
    Bloomberg

    Amazon Cut Spending on Google Advertising in Recent Days

    (Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc. has slashed the amount of money it spends on Google advertising in recent days, a potential blow to the search giant’s revenue at an already-unstable time.The e-commerce company generally buys Google ads to funnel web shoppers to its online store. But since March 11, Amazon has cut back drastically across nearly all categories, according to data collected by Tinuiti Inc., a marketing agency that handles about $1.5 billion a year in spending for various advertisers.“Amazon has significantly pulled back in Google Shopping and text ads,” said Andy Taylor, Tinuiti’s director of research. In Google keyword auctions, Amazon is still bidding “lightly” against some advertisers, but it has “disappeared as a competitor altogether for others,” he added.“While we don’t comment on individual customers, it’s not unusual for advertisers to adjust their campaigns at any time for any number of reasons,” a Google spokesperson said. An Amazon spokesperson did not return a request for comment.Amazon is responding to a surge in demand for everyday items as people avoid physical stores because of the coronavirus pandemic. The company is prioritizing the stocking of household and medical supplies and is looking to hire 100,000 extra workers. Amazon could be cutting back on ads because it doesn’t want to push even more people to its website and overload its supply chain, warehouses and logistics network.“They don’t need to drive more demand,” said Travis Johnson, global chief executive officer of Podean, a marketing firm that specializes in helping companies advertise on Amazon and other digital marketplaces. Some of his clients have seen sales on Amazon.com spike as much as six times this month, compared to February, he said.The pandemic may curb Google’s ad revenue growth as economic activity slows and companies look for ways to cut costs. Online travel agencies Expedia Group Inc. and Booking Holdings Inc., which are major Google ad buyers, have been particularly hard hit since global travel almost ground to a halt a few weeks ago.In China, where the virus spread first, online ad spending will grow this year at the slowest pace since 2011, research firm EMarketer said Tuesday.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Is the Options Market Predicting a Spike in Expedia (EXPE) Stock?
    Zacks

    Is the Options Market Predicting a Spike in Expedia (EXPE) Stock?

    Investors need to pay close attention to Expedia (EXPE) stock based on the movements in the options market lately.

  • Expedia (EXPE) Down 37% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Rebound?
    Zacks

    Expedia (EXPE) Down 37% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Rebound?

    Expedia (EXPE) reported earnings 30 days ago. What's next for the stock? We take a look at earnings estimates for some clues.

  • Expedia Withdraws First Quarter Guidance and Halts Share Repurchases
    Skift

    Expedia Withdraws First Quarter Guidance and Halts Share Repurchases

    After Booking Holdings did likewise a few days earlier, Expedia Group withdrew its first quarter financial guidance, citing the ongoing impact of coronavirus. In addition, Expedia Group announced Friday it would be suspending share repurchases so it can retain maximum flexibility to maneuver during the pandemic. Its stock has plummeted 43 percent in the past […]

  • Americans need to start canceling travel to slow down the coronavirus: epidemiologist
    Yahoo Finance

    Americans need to start canceling travel to slow down the coronavirus: epidemiologist

    Consumers may be reluctant to cancel trips if they can't get full refunds, but one epidemiologist says people need to start canceling travel if they want to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Bloomberg

    Airbnb Adds U.S. to Virus Refund Policy After Trump Travel Ban

    (Bloomberg) -- Airbnb Inc. added the U.S. to its coronavirus refund policy after President Donald Trump limited travel to the country from most of Europe this week.The San Francisco-based company announced Friday that guests would now be eligible for full refunds for reservations in the U.S. booked on or before Friday with a check-in date of April 1 or earlier.The policy was also extended to travelers coming from the U.S. who have reservations in the Schengen Area of Europe, which includes 26 countries such as France, Germany, Poland, Portugal, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland. This applies to reservations made on or before March 11 for travel from March 13 to April 13, the company said.As Covid-19 brings travel to a grinding halt across the world, Airbnb has been under mounting pressure to extend its refund policy beyond China, Italy and South Korea. The late-stage startup has been fielding complaints from angry guests who have been forced to cancel travel plans beyond these three countries and have been denied a refund.Airbnb Refuses Scores of Refunds Amid Coronavirus FrenzyUnlike big hotel chains, Airbnb is a two-way platform, which means for every guest cancellation it approves there is a host at the other end who winds up out of pocket. As the company tries to strike a balance between the two, many guests have been left to negotiate over refunds with their hosts, who are not always willing to be flexible.Airbnb takes a cut of reservations, so cancellations eat into its revenue at a time when the company is seeking to list its stock on the public market. The U.S. is Airbnb’s biggest market. Airbnb Had Problems Even Before Coronavirus: Fully Charged“We will continue to assess the situation and will provide further information as matters progress,” the company said in a statement on Friday. “We strongly advise all travelers to carefully review and select appropriate cancellation policies according to personal needs and the outlook on COVID-19.”Airbnb, Expedia Face Room Tax Collection Rule in West VirginiaTo contact the reporter on this story: Olivia Carville in New York at ocarville1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Alistair BarrFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Airbnb Loses $276 Million and 6 Other Takeaways From Its Fourth Quarter
    Skift

    Airbnb Loses $276 Million and 6 Other Takeaways From Its Fourth Quarter

    Airbnb, which was preparing to go public in 2020, nearly doubled the size of its losses in the fourth quarter — and that was before coronavirus upended the global economy and daily life in many parts of the world. In the first two months of 2020, Airbnb's bookings plunged in key cities, including Beijing, Seoul, […]

  • 'Never seen anything like this': Bookings for overseas flights from US plummet
    Yahoo Finance

    'Never seen anything like this': Bookings for overseas flights from US plummet

    Bookings for flights departing the U.S. suffered another steep decline over the past week, as would-be passengers concerned about COVID-19 shied away from travel commitments. 

  • Cancel Your Trip Due to Coronavirus? Airbnb Refuses Scores of Refunds
    Bloomberg

    Cancel Your Trip Due to Coronavirus? Airbnb Refuses Scores of Refunds

    (Bloomberg) -- Josh Ostroff had a difficult choice to make: Cancel a trip to Japan in March that he’d been promising his 10-year-old son for three years, or ignore travel warnings and put his family’s health at risk amid the coronavirus outbreak.He decided to cancel the trip.When the Toronto-based family asked for their money back, citing the Canadian government’s warning to “exercise a high degree of caution” in Japan, they received a refund from their hotels and a voucher from the airline. Airbnb Inc. said no.The San Francisco-based startup said the family didn’t qualify for a refund under its new “extenuating circumstances” coronavirus policy, which only applies to China, Italy and South Korea. The home-share company’s official response to the family refers to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “If the CDC’s precautions are followed, you could safely travel to Japan.”Ostroff was shocked. “I repeatedly asked about bringing a child into this situation and they did not answer,” he said. “I feel like Airbnb is being recklessly irresponsible here.”Airbnb, which was founded in 2008 during the financial crisis as a cheaper alternative to hotels, is confronting a second major challenge in the coronavirus. The stakes are higher than ever this time around because this is the year Airbnb wants to debut on the stock market. And with more than 7 million listings across the globe and a private market valuation of $31 billion, Airbnb’s reputation has never mattered more or been under more scrutiny.The Covid-19 virus, which is now active in more than 100 countries, has hit the travel industry hard. Some airlines have canceled flights to certain countries, hotels have closed and the some of the biggest conferences of the year have been scrapped. Many companies have forbidden international travel and told staff to work from home. On Monday, Booking Holdings Inc., the world’s largest online travel-booking site, withdrew its already bleak first-quarter guidance, citing the worsening impact of the coronavirus.Navigating the global outbreak is trickier for Airbnb than for big hotel chains or airlines who serve only travelers and manage all of their inventory. Airbnb is a two-way platform, connecting people who want to rent out all or part of their home with travelers seeking accommodations. For every guest cancellation the company approves there is a host at the other end who winds up out of pocket.In its drive to balance the needs of hosts, who sometimes get their entire income from listing property on the site, against travelers’ concerns, Airbnb -- at least for now -- is putting the onus on hosts to be accommodating, such as by offering refunds or loosening cancellation policies. But that’s leaving a lot of travelers disgruntled and feeling like they’re footing the bill for stays they had no choice but to cancel.Smart companies strive to protect their reputations, especially when bad things happen outside their control, said Micah Solomon, a customer service expert and author of the book Ignore Your Customers And They’ll Go Away. “This crisis is going to be over sometime,” he said, and when it’s over “you still want to be the go-to place for guests.”Right now not many guests want to be at an Airbnb. Angry travelers have flooded Twitter with complaints over what many are calling a lack of compassion during a global health emergency. Users have vented about four-day waits to speak to a real person and said the company’s policies are implicitly encouraging them to put their health at risk. One user wrote: “Looks like we have to actually get covid-19 to get a 100% refund from @Airbnb. Talk about mixed incentives.” Another said: “No corporate social responsibility? You’re forcing people to take their trips and possibly spread COVID.”Part of the problem stems from Airbnb’s shared responsibility with hosts on refunds. Airbnb will give a full refund within the first 48 hours after a guest books a site. After that, it’s up to hosts to set how much of a refund they’re willing to offer. These policies, outlined on each individual listing, can range from very flexible, offering free cancellation up to a day before, to very strict no refund whatsoever. Airbnb says hosts offer flexible and moderate cancellation policies on more than 60% of current listings.In Ostroff’s case, he had booked three Airbnb’s for the trip to Japan and got three very different responses to his refund requests. The first host granted a full refund, but Airbnb still pocketed a $125 service fee from the reservation. The second host refused any refund and the third simply never replied. In all, the family lost more than $1,000.After being made aware of the Ostroff’s situation by Bloomberg, Airbnb offered the family a full refund.Airbnb said not all of its guests are angry. “We have heard from many guests who appreciate that their hosts have been flexible and helped them rearrange or cancel their travel plans with no penalty,” it said in a statement.Many U.S. companies are basing their policies on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the national public health institute. The CDC rates Japan an alert level 2, and recommends older adults and those with chronic medical conditions consider postponing nonessential travel there. But the country is taking more drastic action. Schools, museums and sporting events have been canceled, and the Hokkaido region has declared a state of emergency. The government is advising against being in crowds.Travel companies have varying responses to requests for refunds. Expedia Group Inc.’s vacation-rental site VRBO hasn’t extended its cancellation or refund policy for guests impacted by the virus. The company’s Book with Confidence Guarantee only protects guests from fraudulent listings and misrepresentation. “It does not cover cancellations due to travel advisories from force majeure,” meaning unforeseeable circumstances beyond its control, Expedia said in a statement. Marriott International Inc. is waiving cancellation fees for stays through March 31 for travel to or from several countries in Asia and Italy.On Tuesday, Airbnb updated its policies to offer hosts more tools to grant refunds and, in turn, allow guests to postpone travel plans. It will reward hosts who are willing to be flexible on refunds by giving their listings more visibility and scrapping the 3% fee it typically charges. The company also offered to return its service fee to guests as a coupon to be used on future bookings if trips have to be canceled due to coronavirus.“Travel on Airbnb is powered by people, not large corporations,” Airbnb’s head of homes Greg Greeley said in a statement. Because of Airbnb’s “two-sided model, when a crisis like Covid-19 hits, we know that it doesn’t just impact us as a company, but also the individual stakeholders within our community: the hosts who rely on their Airbnb income, and guests who have their travel plans disrupted.” Airbnb is “committed to doing everything we can to fairly support both parties, consistent with how this two-sided marketplace works,” he added.While gearing up for its public listing, Airbnb has been spending more on marketing and new safety features, causing the company to swing to a loss in 2019 after two years of profit before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. “It’s easy to understand why they’re being very prudent with refunds,” said Bradley Tusk, a venture capitalist who advises technology companies in crisis, though has never worked with Airbnb. But, warned that the company risked hurting its brand as it edges closer to a listing. (Tusk also ran the 2009 mayoral campaign of Michael Bloomberg, the owner of Bloomberg LP.)Airbnb’s updated policy does little for travelers like the Ostroff’s, and others who have had to cancel or postpone trips to the 97 or so countries not covered by the company’s extenuating circumstances policy. Nor does it help those who were planning to attend public events that have since been scrapped.William Matchin was traveling from South Carolina to Massachusetts for two psychology conferences this month. Both were canceled due to the virus and Airbnb declined to give him a refund. “It took forever to get on the phone with them and basically they just said go and talk to the host and try to get a refund from them,” Matchin said. “This is such a stark contrast to hotels and airlines which have issued automatic refunds no questions asked. It’s crazy.”(Updates with Expedia policy in 16th paragraph)\--With assistance from Patrick Clark.To contact the reporters on this story: Olivia Carville in New York at ocarville1@bloomberg.net;Eric Newcomer in San Francisco at enewcomer@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Molly Schuetz at mschuetz9@bloomberg.net, Alistair BarrFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Expedia Business Services’ New Top Boss to Pull Levers for Long-Term Growth
    Skift

    Expedia Business Services’ New Top Boss to Pull Levers for Long-Term Growth

    At the same time that Expedia Chairman Barry Diller took control of the company's leadership last December, he promoted Ariane Gorin to an expanded role as group president of Expedia Business Services. Gorin had been president of Expedia Partner Solutions, which provides business-to-business services. Under the new group Expedia Business Services, Gorin now also oversees […]

  • Analysts are just starting to understand how coronavirus could hit corporate profits: Morning Brief
    Yahoo Finance

    Analysts are just starting to understand how coronavirus could hit corporate profits: Morning Brief

    Top news and what to watch in the markets on Friday, March 6, 2020.

  • Google Travel Ad Revenue May Be Hit by Coronavirus, Analyst Says
    Bloomberg

    Google Travel Ad Revenue May Be Hit by Coronavirus, Analyst Says

    (Bloomberg) -- Google’s massive travel advertising business could be hurt because the coronavirus outbreak is disrupting travel plans.Needham & Co. analyst Laura Martin estimated spending on travel search ads will drop $1 billion in the first quarter and $3 billion in the second quarter. Most of that money would have been spent on Google, which dominates the space. Travel ads make up 10% of all search ads and accounted for about $10.7 billion of Google’s $98 billion search revenue in 2019, Martin wrote in a Thursday note to clients.The coronavirus is slowing economic activity and ad budgets are often one of the first expenses to be cut when companies tighten their belts. Alphabet Inc.’s Google relies on millions of businesses, large and small, to buy ads on its search engine and on YouTube to keep revenue growing.There are other signs of stress on the travel industry. Airline stocks have tanked, with United Airlines Holdings Inc. falling 39% and Deutsche Lufthansa AG dropping 31% since the outbreak began. Booking Holdings Inc. and Expedia Group Inc., two of Google’s largest ad buyers, have slumped, too.Needham’s Martin kept her buy rating on Alphabet shares because she expects consumer spending and travel advertising will be “back to normal” by the second half of 2020.To contact the reporter on this story: Gerrit De Vynck in New York at gdevynck@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alistair Barr at abarr18@bloomberg.net, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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