MASTERCLASSING

Uber posts staggering loss of over $5bn, its biggest quarterly loss ever

Tyrone Stewart

Uber app phoneUber saw share slide by as much as 10 per cent as it reported an eyewatering loss of $5.24bn in the second quarter of 2019, its largest-ever quarterly loss, despite bookings and trips growing significantly.

This is the second time that Uber has publicly reported its earnings following its disappointing IPO in May last year. However, this latest batch of results fell way short of Wall Street’s expectations.

The ride-hailing firm posted revenues of $3.17bn, growing 14 per cent over Q2 2018 but well below the over $3.3bn expected by analysts. Meanwhile, loss per share was reported at $4.72 compared to the $3.12 expected.

Uber has attributed the large quarterly loss to stock-based compensation relating to its IPO. Taking away this stock-based compensation, Uber’s losses were closer to $1.3bn, which is still around 30 per cent worse than the Q1 2019.

To lower costs, Uber has cut around 400 jobs from its marketing team over the past few weeks.

Though it’s all looking a bit gloomy for Uber at the moment, it did see its monthly active platform consumers reach over 100m for the first time in July, averaging 99m over the three-month period – a 30 per cent increase over the same quarter last year. Meanwhile, gross bookings grew to $15.76bn year-over-year from $12.01bn and trips taken were up 35 per cent to 1.68bn.

“Our platform strategy continues to deliver strong results, with trips up 35 per cent and gross bookings up 37 per cent in constant currency, compared to the second quarter of last year,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber CEO. “In July, the Uber platform reached over 100m monthly active platform consumers for the first time, as we become a more and more integral part of everyday life in cities around the world.”

Earlier this week, Uber’s rival Lyft reported a far rosier picture. The second most popular ride-hailing service in the US reported a loss per share of $0.68, far exceeding Wall Street’s expectations of a $1.74 loss. At the same time, revenues were at $867m compared to the $809m expected. There were also 21.8m ‘active riders’ on its platform in the quarter, once again above analysts’ 21.1m expectations.

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