Airbnb has a chance to post substantial growth next year and the stock is worth buying when the company makes its long-awaited debut to the market Thursday, CNBC's Jim Cramer said Tuesday.
Investors can afford to be patient, however, as the vacation home rental company continues to face pandemic headwinds, he said.
"I want you to own Airbnb because it's set to have a terrific year starting next March," the "Mad Money" host said. "That means you've got a few months to make your move, no rush."
Airbnb, the online lodging marketplace that has disrupted the hotel industry, plans to go public on Thursday, ending a volatile year for the company on a high note. The company considered earlier this year pushing back a public offering to 2021 as the coronavirus outbreak spread globally.
Cramer, anticipating a post-Covid-19 world, is banking on Airbnb bookings to rebound starting in the first half of next year.
Airbnb on Monday set a new IPO range of between $56 and $60 per share, an increase from a range of $44 to $50 per share. The updated range represents a $42 billion valuation for Airbnb.
"If you can get the stock for $68 or less this week, I'd back up the truck. If you can get it for less than $85, I'm granting you a small position," Cramer said. "Any higher, though, and I'm going to have to say you've got to keep your bat on your shoulder and wait for a better pitch."
Cramer reckons investors could get a better buying price if the stock sells off after Airbnb reveals results in its first public quarterly report, which could shake out some shareholders who bought in on the IPO.
Airbnb has brought in $2.52 billion of revenue through Sept. 30, a more than 30% decline from the $3.7 billion it recorded in the first nine months of 2019. The lost business can be attributed to the drop in travel demand during the pandemic.
Airbnb grew annual revenue by more than 31% in 2019, though the growth rate has slowed over the years, according to the prospectus it submitted last month.
An emergency capital raise in April valued the company at $18 billion, which was half of what it was valued in 2017. The company laid off 25% of its workforce in May.
The future remains uncertain, with Covid cases rising exponentially. Cramer forecasts that Airbnb will have a rough fourth quarter, in keeping with 2020, and that the effects of low travel demand will linger in the first quarter of 2021.
"By the time April rolls around, millions of people should be vaccinated ... and I have to believe we'll see a recovery in the travel stocks in a rapid fashion," Cramer said. "This business will look great in 2021, especially when you layer in all the cost cuts they've put through."
"But the next few months could be pretty rough, especially if IPO investors freak out when they see Airbnb's first quarter out of the gate."