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Airbnb surpasses prepandemic levels

Gabby Jones/Bloomberg


Airbnb surpasses prepandemic levels

Airbnb beat revenue and profit estimates in the fourth quarter, bucking a resurgent wave of COVID-19 infections and heading into this year even stronger than before the pandemic. Revenue grew 78 percent to $1.53 billion, Airbnb said Tuesday in a statement. That beat analysts’ projections for $1.46 billion. The San Francisco-based company reported net income of $55 million compared with a loss of $3.9 billion a year earlier, marking a record for the period. Chief executive Brian Chesky called the results “the best year in our company’s history,” and said that Airbnb was able to weather the pandemic because of its highly adaptable business model. “We have millions of types of homes in nearly every community at nearly every price point all over the world,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on Tuesday. “That means that however travel changes, we’re able to adapt.” — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Most work from home because they want to, survey finds

A majority of Americans who work from home today say they’re remote by choice, not necessity. That’s one key takeaway from a Pew Research Center survey, which found that the reasons for teleworking have changed considerably since the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, 61 percent of teleworkers who have an office say it’s their choice not to work from there, Pew found, up from about a third in October 2020. Fewer cite concerns about being exposed to the virus — 42 percent now versus 57 percent back then. The impetus for returning to the office has shifted too. About a quarter of workers cite more opportunities for advancement. And about one-fifth say the major driver for working onsite is the lack of space and resources at home. Among those who are allowed to work anywhere but opt to go to the office at least some of the time, one in 10 respondents say that the main rationale is pressure from their supervisor or coworkers to be there. But child-care needs continue to be a major impediment to returning to the office for many parents — even as households have adjusted. In the latest survey, 32 percent of respondents with kids under 18 cite it as an issue, down from 45 percent in October 2020. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Stanford edges Harvard in fund-raising

Stanford University raised $1.39 billion in the last fiscal year, the most among US colleges, narrowly edging out Harvard University for the top spot. The perennial fund-raising rivals were the only schools to raise more than $1 billion in the 12 months ended June 30, as buoyant stock markets helped fuel donations, according to a report Wednesday from the Council for Advancement & Support of Education. Harvard, the richest US university with a $53.2 billion endowment, collected $1.38 billion in the period. Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore ranked third, with $930.9 million, followed by Yale University’s $734.3 million and the University of Washington’s $716.2 million. The 822 schools that responded to the group’s annual survey for two straight years collectively raised 7.6 percent more in fiscal 2021 than in the preceding 12-month period, according to the report. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Stop & Shop parent company warns of lower earnings

Royal Ahold Delhaize’s stock dropped after the Stop & Shop owner said it expects lower earnings per share this fiscal year as inflation weighs on consumers and the industry grapples with continued supply chain disruption. The retailer said Wednesday it expects underlying earnings per share to decline by low- to mid-single-digits this year. The shares dropped as much as 5.8 percent, the most since March 2020. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Twitter CEO to take paternity leave

Parag Agrawal, 37, is just getting started in one of the technology industry’s highest-profile jobs, after taking over as Twitter CEO less than three months ago amid pressure from investors to grow rapidly. He is also, as it happens, about to take paternity leave. Balancing his commitments to work and family, Agrawal is preparing to take “a few weeks” of parental leave, Twitter confirmed to The Washington Post. That’s less than the 20 weeks the company affords its employees — regardless of gender — yet still noteworthy for a CEO of a major tech firm at a time when norms on paid leave are contested both nationally and in Silicon Valley. — WASHINGTON POST


Uber to allow customers to see their ratings

Ride-hailing firm Uber is giving customers more insight into how their average rating is calculated and will for the first time allow riders to see how many five-star ratings they received from drivers. Starting Wednesday, users will be able to see a breakdown of their personal rating through the app’s Privacy Center, which will show how many of each individual ratings they received, not just the decimal score between one and five they previously had access to. The rating is an average of the last 500 trips. Riders won’t, however, be able to see when each rating was awarded, or why it was given. Slamming doors, leaving a mess behind, or not wearing a seatbelt are some of the main reasons drivers deduct stars from a customer, Uber said. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Ericsson may have paid ISIS for access to transport routes in Iraq

Ericsson may have made payments to the ISIS terror organization to gain access to certain transport routes in Iraq, in a shocking admission following years of regulatory investigations. Shares in the Stockholm-based company were down almost 11.6 percent at closing on Wednesday. The admission from Ericsson comes after the company was accused by the US Department of Justice in October of breaching a $1 billion agreement it made with prosecutors in 2019 to end a long-running corruption probe. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Volkswagen CEO warns of ongoing chip crisis

Volkswagen chief executive Herbert Diess warned of more output cuts because of the chip crisis at its main factory in Wolfsburg amid rising tensions over how to make the world’s biggest car plant fit for the electric age. While VW has made progress managing the global components bottleneck, the situation at its German headquarters remains challenging, Diess said Wednesday during a workers assembly. Talks over how to keep Wolfsburg competitive in the shift to battery-powered cars has seen tensions rise between Diess and union leaders. The CEO last year hinted at possible job cuts to keep pace with Tesla as the electric car leader plans to ramp up output at its first European factory near Berlin this year. — BLOOMBERG NEWS