Uber revenue up 72% from last year, but Didi stake contributes to big loss

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  • Uber reported third-quarter financial results that included adjusted EBITDA profit for the first time.
  • The company reported a net loss of $2.4 billion in the quarter. This was mainly due to the decline in the value of its investment holdings, especially in Didi.
  • Uber said active US mobility drivers were up about 60% year-over-year in the third quarter.

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Uber reported this third quarter results Thursday after the bell. After an initial drop, shares were up about 1% in after-hours trading.

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Here’s how Uber compared to expectations of analysts surveyed by Refinitiv:

  • Loss per share: $1.28 vs. 33 cents expected
  • Revenue: $4.8 billion versus $4.4 billion expected

Uber reported a net loss of $2.4 billion for the quarter, largely due to a decline in the value of its investment holdings, especially in Didi. The company said its stakes in Zomato, Aurora and Joby helped make up for some of that loss. Uber reported a net loss of $1.09 billion in the same quarter a year ago.

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Uber also reported its first adjusted EBITDA profit, meeting its year-end target. (EBITDA refers to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.) The company posted an adjusted EBITDA gain of $8 million in the second quarter, up from an adjusted EBITDA loss of $507 million.

Uber’s Eats segment continues to grow despite the easing of pandemic restrictions around the world. The delivery business allowed the company to cope with the Covid headwind when people started ordering more at home during the pandemic.

Here’s how Uber’s largest business segments fared in the third quarter of 2021:

  • Mobility (gross booking): $9.9 billion, an increase of 67% year over year
  • Delivery (Gross Booking): $12.8 billion, an increase of 50% year over year

Delivery revenue continues to outperform its core ride-hailing business at $2.24 billion, compared to $2.2 billion, though that gap is narrowing. Freight revenue brought in $402 million. In an update to shareholders, the company said the number of its delivery merchants increased to more than 780,000.

The company is grappling with supply and demand imbalances due to the pandemic, which has led to price hikes and increased waiting times.

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Uber shows signs of recovery from the pandemic in the US The company’s active US mobility drivers were up nearly 60% year-on-year in the third quarter, and improved in October with 10 consecutive weeks of driver growth since late August.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said on the company’s earnings call that surge pricing incidents have dropped by almost half, while wait times average less than five minutes.

“We are comfortable that the bulk of our recruitment spending is behind us,” he said.

In another sign of recovery, Uber said commuting to and from airports grew 35% quarter-on-quarter and 203% year-on-year.

Uber reported 1.64 billion trips on the platform during the quarter, up 9% from the previous quarter and 39% year over year. Monthly active platform subscribers reached 109 million, up 8% from the previous quarter. Drivers and couriers totaled $8.6 billion during the quarter.

The company said it expects gross bookings to be between $25 billion and $26 billion in the fourth quarter. It also expects adjusted EBITDA of $25 million to $75 million.

Uber’s biggest US competitor, Lyft, also reported financial results this week. Lyft beat Wall Street guidance on both the top and bottom lines and said drivers are holding back, though it missed estimates for active riders.

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