Airbnb stock priced at $68 in one of year’s biggest IPOs

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Airbnb sold its stock for $68 a share in one of the US’ biggest initial public offerings this year, raising about $3.5 billion ahead of its Thursday market debut.

The vacation-rental giant’s highly anticipated IPO gave it a fully diluted valuation of more than $47 billion — nearly double the $26 billion it was worth in early March, before the coronavirus pandemic delivered a blow to its business from which it has since recovered.

Airbnb announced late Wednesday that it priced the offering above its target range of $56 to $60, which it had raised just two days earlier from a previous target of $44 to $50.

The only company to raise more money from an IPO this year was Pershing Square Tontine Holdings, the so-called blank-check company launched by billionaire investor Bill Ackman that raised $4 billion in July, according to MarketWatch.

San Francisco-based Airbnb is slated to start trading on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker symbol “ABNB” on Thursday after staging a turnaround from the COVID-19 crisis.

Airbnb slashed its staff by roughly 25 percent amid a plunge in bookings as the coronavirus sparked worldwide lockdowns this spring. But the business bounced back over the summer as travelers sought out homes to stay in instead of hotel rooms.

The 12-year-old company posted a $219 million net profit on revenues of about $1.3 billion in the July-to-September quarter after booking losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars for the three previous quarters.

Airbnb’s IPO will be the latest in a string of big-name tech listings this year. Food-delivery giant DoorDash saw its shares surge nearly 86 percent in its market debut on Wednesday after raising about $3.4 billion from its offering.

Other Silicon Valley-born firms to go public in recent months include data-mining giant Palantir and cloud-storage startup Snowflake.

With Post wires

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