Uber recorded a net loss of $5.9 billion due to unrealised losses from stakes in Didi Global, Grab Holdings and Aurora Innovation, but delivered a positive outlook for earnings in the current period. It signalled the company plans to capitalise on robust ride demand without compromising profits by focusing on product changes, rather than incentives, to address the driver shortage.
The ride-sharing and delivery company projected gross bookings of $28.5 billion to $29.5 billion in the second quarter and adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of $240 million to $270 million. The top end of both ranges beat the average analyst estimate.
Uber’s rosy results contrasted with rival Lyft, which delivered a disappointing outlook on Tuesday and signalled the shortage of drivers that has plagued both ride-hailing companies for the past year would spill over into the second quarter. Shares plummeted as much as 27 per cent in extended trading after Lyft said it would ramp up spending on driver incentives to bring the number of drivers on its marketplace back into balance with resurgent rider demand.
Uber’s guidance comes after revenue rose 136 per cent to $6.9 billion in the first quarter, the company said on Wednesday in a statement. That beat the $6.1 billion analysts had projected, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Adjusted Ebitda earnings were $168 million in the quarter, surpassing the $135 million analysts expected.
“After more than two years of persistent and sometimes unpredictable impacts to our business, our Q1 results make clear that we are emerging on a strong path out of the pandemic,” Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi said in the statement.
Khosrowshahi said Uber’s driver base is at a “post-pandemic high” and that it expects engagement to continue “without significant incremental incentive investments.”