Uber Beats Estimates But Loss Widens to $1.16B

While Uber's Rides segment is profitable, it is spending heavily on new businesses such as Eats.
Matthew HellerNovember 5, 2019
Uber Beats Estimates But Loss Widens to $1.16B

Uber’s shares fell more than 5% in extended trading Monday after it beat quarterly earnings estimates but reported a wider year-on-year loss amid rising costs.

For the third quarter, Uber’s net loss increased 18% to $1.16 billion from a year ago — down from the previous quarter’s record $5.2 billion loss but still the third-largest deficit since the company started reporting earnings in 2017.

Excluding interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, Uber lost $585 million, up 28% from a year earlier, as spending on new businesses such as Uber Eats and new technology pushed costs up about 33% to $4.92 billion.

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Earnings per share of 68 cents beat estimates of 81 cents while revenue rose 30% to $3.81 billion, topping projections of $3.69 billion.

“Our results this quarter decisively demonstrate the growing profitability of our Rides segment,” CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a news release.

“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,” he added.

But in the after-hours trading session, Uber’s shares dropped 5.5% to $29.37. “Uber has been under pressure from investors to stem its enormous losses and show how it can achieve profitability,” The Verge reported.

As The Wall Street Journal reports, “Uber’s profitability target rests heavily on the success of its ride-hailing service, which brings in three-quarters of the company’s revenue and is its only profitable business unit before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.”

In an earnings call, Khosrowshahi said Uber would achieve adjusted EBITDA profitability for the full year of 2021. “That’s two years of growth for our rides business,” he noted.

Adjusted EBITDA from the Rides segment rose 52% to $631 million in the second quarter, more than covering Uber’s corporate overhead, but the loss from the Eats business widened to $316 million from $189 million.

“Uber would be EBITDA positive if it wasn’t also investing in Uber Eats, the freight operation and autonomous driving capabilities,” Atlantic Equities analyst James Cordwell said.