Lyft shares plunge after revenue forecast disappoints

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RIDE-HAILING company Lyft on Monday forecast current-quarter revenue slightly below Wall Street estimates, hurt by competition from Uber Technologies even while demand for rideshare picks up and prices rise.

Lyft's shares were down 9 per cent in extended trading. The stock has lost nearly 70 per cent of its value so far this year, underperforming that of Uber, which has declined about 33 per cent.

Uber controls a bigger chunk of the market share and has operations outside of the United States, while also benefiting from its food and grocery delivery business and said it was not seeing any signs of consumer weakness.

Lyft on Monday, however, forecast current-quarter operating profit above Wall Street estimates, powered by a resurgence in trips to airports and commutes to office.

"Now as we're entering a recession, the opposite is true ...transportation is durable because we need to get around, but delivery and takeout is less durable," Lyft president John Zimmer said in an interview.

Active riders rose 7.2 per cent in the third quarter, the smallest quarterly growth recorded so far this year, but revenue per active rider increased 13.7 per cent, the highest growth compared to the prior two quarters.

For the fourth quarter, the company expects revenue between US$1.15 billion and US$1.17 billion, while analysts expect US$1.17 billion.

It forecast adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization), a profitability metric keenly watched by investors, between US$80 million and US$100 million, compared with analysts' forecast of US$84.5 million, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Operating profit for the third quarter was US$66.2 million, beating analysts' estimate of US$62 million.

Revenue rose 22 per cent to a record US$1.05 billion but fell short of estimate of US$1.06 billion.

Lyft's net loss, however, widened to US$422.2 million, or US$1.18 per share, from US$99.7 million, or 30 cents per share, a year earlier, due to impairment charges related to the closure of Argo AI, the autonomous vehicle startup in which the company had a stake. REUTERS

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