Financial Performance

Grubhub Shares Tank on Reduced Q4 Outlook

“The easy wins in the [food-delivery] market are disappearing a little more quickly than we thought,” the company said.
Matthew HellerOctober 29, 2019

Grubhub reported a 40% decline in quarterly earnings and lowered its guidance for the current quarter, reflecting slowing growth amid intense competition among food-delivery providers.

Grubhub’s adjusted third-quarter earnings of $0.27 per share met analysts’ estimates but were down from $0.45 per share a year earlier. Sales of $332.1 million fell slightly short of forecasts while Daily Active Grubs (DAG), or the number of orders placed by customers, rose 10% to 457,300.

The company also said it now expected revenue for the fourth quarter to be between $315 million to $335 million and adjusted EBITDA to be in a range between $15 million to $25 million due in part to revised expectations for lower orders and investment in new initiatives.

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Rival providers include DoorDash, Postmates, and Uber Eats divisions, which have all been seeking to reach more markets and gain market share.

“While growth may not be as explosive without large pockets of new restaurant supply, the good news is there is still significant opportunity for long-term top and bottom-line growth in the over $200 billion takeout market which still largely remains offline,” Grubhub said in a letter to shareholders.

But Grubhub’s shares tumbled 31.5% to $39.95 in after-hours trading Monday — the lowest price since April 2017.

Grubhub executives said a food-delivery shakeout is looming as providers cut deals to keep restaurants using their platforms. “Right now, we are in a weird bubble that is about to burst,” Matt Maloney, the company’s founder and CEO, told The Wall Street Journal.

“You are going to see a brawl of who can differentiate the most on the consumer side,” he said.

In its shareholder letter, Grubhub said that in August, overall DAG growth began trending “noticeably lower” than its expectations. “The easy wins in the market are disappearing a little more quickly than we thought,” it said.

The company said it would be “spending more and trying many different strategies over the next 12-18 months to increase restaurant supply aggressively while making our diner experience more sticky — effectively taking action to remove any reason for diners to look anywhere else.”