Business Insider Edition

Uber falls after reporting that it lost more than R16 billion in the last 3 months

Carmen Reinicke , Business Insider US
 Nov 06, 2019, 02:12 PM
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi
Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Fortune

  • Uber reported third-quarter earnings Monday that beat Wall Street expectations for revenue but also showed a $1.1 billion (R16 billion) loss.
  • Shares fell as much as 7.4% in early trading Tuesday on the news.
  • Uber has struggled to win over investors without turning a profit, but CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said Monday the company expects to profit in 2021.
  • In addition, Uber's post-initial public offering lockup expires on Wednesday, which could send shares down further, according to Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Big quarterly losses are adding up for Uber.

Shares of the ride-sharing company fell as much as 7.4% in early trading Tuesday after it reported it lost $1.1 billion (R16 billion) in its third-quarter earnings release Monday.

The net loss overshadowed Uber's reported $3.8 billion (R56 billion) revenue, which beat Wall Street's estimates, showing that investors are looking at the bottom line more than the top.

Here's what the company reported, versus what analysts expected:

  • Earnings: -68 cents per share versus -63 cents per share (expected)
  • Revenue: $3.8 billion versus $3.4 billion (expected)
  • Net income: -$1.1 billion, in line with expectations

Uber's stock price has struggled to stay above its first trading price since its May initial public offering, as investors are growing increasingly hesitant to back unprofitable unicorn startups that have yet to turn a profit.

"The controversy is around profit potential, heightened by the largest loss profile of almost any IPO," wrote Mark Mahaney of RBC Capital Markets in a Friday note.

On a call with analysts Monday, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi finallly gave an update on the company's path to profitability. Uber is anticipating turning a profit for the full year 2021, on an adjusted basis, he said.

The update comes after rival ride-hailing company Lyft announced that it would become profitable in the fourth quarter of 2021, one year sooner than Wall Street had expected. That announcement lifted Lyft shares 11%, and sent Uber up 8% as well.

And even though Uber still posted a loss in the third quarter, the company is moving in the direction of profitability - its third-quarter loss is much smaller than the whopping $5.2 billion (R76 billion) loss that the company reported in the second quarter of 2019.

"We're pleased to see the impact that continued category leadership, greater financial discipline, and an industry-wide shift towards healthier growth are already having on our financial performance," Khosrowshahi said in a statement.

Uber shares will soon face another test from the market. On Wednesday, the company's post-IPO lockup expires, meaning that millions more shares will be available to trade on the market.

It could "cause an avalanche of selling as early investors and insiders hit the bid, which remains a major Street worry around near-term pressure," wrote Daniel Ives, an analyst at Wedbush, in a note Friday.

Uber is down more than 33% year-to-date, including Tuesday's loss.

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