Media Moves

Uber posts $1.1 bln loss for fourth quarter

February 7, 2020

Posted by Irina Slav

Uber reported a loss of $1.1 billion for the fourth quarter of 2019.

Cathy Bussewitz had the news for the AP:

Uber is still losing money as it expands its food delivery business and develops technology for driverless cars.

But revenue for its rides business nearly tripled in the final three months of last year as the company picked up more passengers around the world. That prompted it to say it will turn a profit earlier than it expected.

The San Francisco-based ride-hailing giant lost $1.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019, about 24% more than the same time last year. The loss amounted to 64 cents per share, which was slightly better than what analysts were expecting. Analysts polled by FactSet predicted Uber would lose $1.18 billion, or 67 cents per share, during the quarter.

Uber brought in $4.1 billion in revenue, up 37% from a year ago. Its revenue grew around the world, although the biggest gain was in the U.S. and Canada, where it pulled in 41% more than last year.

Because of the company’s progress in 2019 and its plans this year, Uber expects to turn a profit in the fourth quarter of 2020, CEO Dara Khosrowhsahi said in a conference call with investors. That’s sooner than the projection during the last earnings call when he said the company would turn a full-year profit in 2021.

Khosrowshahi called 2019 “a transformational year for Uber.”

“We recognize that the era of growth at all costs is over,” he added.

CNBC’s Lora Kolodny reported:

The company’s shares spiked as much as 10% after hours when CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said on the company’s earnings call that the company was moving its EBITDA profitability target to Q4 2020, ahead of its original promise of profitability in 2021. They’re now trading up about 5% after hours.

Here’s how the company did:

  • Loss per share: Excluding certain items, 64 cents, vs. 68 cents as expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv.
  • Revenue: $4.07 billion, vs. $4.06 billion as expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv.

Uber’s revenue growth accelerated on an annualized basis to 37% from 30% one quarter ago, the company said in a statement. Net loss attributable to Uber for all of 2019 totaled $8.51 billion, primarily because of stock-based compensation.

With respect to guidance, Uber is forecasting a $1.35 billion loss at the middle of the range in terms of in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for 2020. The estimate is less than the FactSet analyst consensus of a $2.83 billion loss.

Therese Poletti from MarketWatch noted:

Uber had previously predicted that it would achieve Ebitda profitability by the end of 2021, but Khosrowshahi now predicts that accomplishment in the fourth quarter of this year. He says it is possible because Uber began a belt-tightening program in the last half of 2019, exiting unprofitable ventures and laying off about 1,000 employees. For example, Uber sold its food-delivery business in India to a local startup, Zomato, in return for a 9.9% stake in that company.

“In the second half of 2019, we began the process of streamlining our footprint with the single-minded focus on profitable, global leadership in our core businesses,” Uber Chief Financial Officer Nelson Chai said.

These moves continue the turnaround that Khosrowshahi began when he replaced co-founder Travis Kalanick as CEO in 2017. Under Kalanick, Uber’s aggressive, frat-boy corporate culture had evolved into one that also looked the other way on sexual harassment. In addition, Uber and other ride-hailing companies have been plagued with issues and accusations about its drivers, including sexual assault, robbery and fatal crashes.


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