Uber Loses More Than $1 Billion In First Earnings Report Since IPO

Uber stock bounces around in after-hours trading, remains lower than IPO price

Uber Technologies Inc. shares bounced in late trading Thursday, after the ride-hailing company lived up to its expectations in the first earnings report since a gargantuan initial public offering.

Uber UBER, +3.84%  reported first-quarter losses of $1.01 billion, or $2.26 a share, on revenue of $3.1 billion. Shares gained about 1% in after-hours trading immediately following the report, then fell to a loss of about 1%, then continued to bounce around between slight gains and losses. The stock has yet to touch its IPO price of $45 a share in regular trading since the first trading day on May 10.

Uber disclosed ahead of the IPO that it expected to lose at least $1 billion and up to $1.11 billion in the first quarter, on net revenue of $3.04 billion to $3.1 billion. In the year-ago quarter, Uber reported massive earnings of $3.75 billion on revenue of $2.58 billion, though that outsize profit was linked to the sale of some of its international operations, with a stated operational loss of about half a billion dollars in the year-ago quarter.

“Our Q1 2019 results were at or near the high end of the ranges we shared last month in our IPO prospectus,” Chief Financial Officer Nelson Chai said in a statement. “Our investments remain focused on global platform expansion and long-term product and technology differentiation, but we will not hesitate to invest to defend our market position globally.”

Not enough analysts projected Uber’s first-quarter earnings to form a solid consensus for this report. Analysts for banks that underwrite an initial public offering tend to wait 25 days from the offering before initiating coverage of a stock, and most of Wall Street helped out on Uber’s IPO, which listed an astounding 29 banks as underwriters. Expect a wave of Uber initiations next week with analysts’ thoughts on this earnings report.

Uber reported bookings — which represents the total amount of money spent on the Uber platform, instead of just the part that Uber takes and is counted as revenue — of $14.65 billion, up from $10.9 billion a year ago. Uber said in its pre-IPO disclosure that it expected gross bookings of $14.44 billion to $14.66 billion, with about 78% of that total attributed to its ride-sharing platform and most of the rest coming from the Uber Eats food-delivery business.

Uber lived up to its forecast with ride-hailing bookings of $11.45 billion and Uber Eats bookings of $3.07 billion in the first quarter, with the rest credited to the company’s “Other Bets” ventures. Uber Eats bookings more than doubled from a year ago, increasing 108%, while ride-hailing increased about 22%.

Rival Lyft Inc. LYFT, +3.23%  stopped disclosing bookings information in its first earnings report after its earlier IPO, despite providing the information in pre-IPO filings. Chief Financial Officer Brian Roberts said at the time that Lyft “really wanted to try to avoid investor confusion” in not providing the information.

The revenue breakdown was roughly similar to bookings. Uber said that about 76.7% of revenue came from ride-hailing, and 17.3% from Uber Eats, with the rest credited to Other Bets and “Vehicle Solutions.”

Uber did not provide a forecast for the second quarter in its announcement. A conference call with executives was scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Eastern time. Uber stock closed Thursday with a 0.4% loss at $39.76.

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