Uber’s revenue growth slowed in the second quarter and its losses widened as it continued to spend heavily on discounting and new businesses.
For the second quarter, Uber reported a record net loss of $5.23 billion, which included $3.9 billion of stock-based compensation costs related to its initial public offering. Excluding that one-time expense, it lost $1.3 billion, or nearly twice the $878 million loss of a year earlier.
Revenue climbed 14% to $3.17 billion, the smallest quarterly increase on record and below analysts’ expectations of $3.3 billion.
On news of the results, Uber shares sank 6% to $42.97 in after-hours trading Thursday.
“Losses are widening and the competition is cut-throat,” Haris Anwar, an analyst at Investing.com, told Reuters. “What’s sapping investor confidence and hitting its stock hard after this report is the absence of a clear path to grow revenue and cut costs.”
Uber’s costs rose 147% to $8.65 billion in the quarter, including a sharp rise in spending for research and development.
Company officials stressed such positives as gross bookings, which increased 31% to $15.76 billion, and monthly active platform users, which topped 100 million for the first time. The adjusted EBITDA loss more than doubled to $656 million but easily beat Wall Street targets of a $996 million loss.
“We think that 2019 will be our peak investment year,” CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told The New York Times, noting that he anticipated losses would decline over the next two years. “We want to make sure that the kind of growth we have is healthy growth.”
“No doubt in my mind that the business will eventually be a break even and profitable business,” he told CNBC.
But the Times said the second-quarter results show Uber is “continuing to struggle with high levels of competition throughout the world — and still paying heavy levels of rider subsidies and driver incentives that have been a key part of ride-hailing since its inception a decade ago.”
In Latin America, a region that was once a source of strong growth for Uber, revenue declined 24% to $547 million