After a rocky debut, Uber executives are looking to reassure investors about the company’s strategy to achieve profitability as it released its first-ever earnings report as a public company on Thursday.
The ride-sharing matched expectations, reporting a net loss of about $1 billion in the first quarter, while quarterly revenue of jumped 20 percent to roughly $3.1 billion compared to the same period one year before. Both figures were in line with unaudited projections in Uber’s S-1 filing and Wall Street’s projections according to Refinitiv.
“In the first quarter, engagement across our platform was higher than ever, with an average of 17 million trips per day and an annualized gross bookings run-rate of $59 billion,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a statement. “Our global reach continues to be an important differentiator, and we maintained leadership of the ridesharing category in every region we serve.”
Uber said its monthly active platform users rose 33 percent to 93 million in the first quarter, up from 70 million one year ago. Users made more than 1.5 billion trips on its platform. Gross bookings across Uber’s core app, Uber Eats and Uber Freight were $14.6 billion, up 34 percent from $10.9 billion year-over-year. Uber Eats revenue rose 89 percent to $536 million, while ride-sharing revenue rose just 9 percent to $2.4 billion.
Concerns about Uber’s ability to achieve profitability, stave off competition from other ride-share firms and slowing revenue growth have weighed on the company’s stock since its lukewarm debut on the New York Stock Exchange earlier this month. Shares began trading below their $45 IPO range and have hovered at around $40 in recent weeks.
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“Our Q1 2019 results were at or near the high end of the ranges we shared last month in our IPO prospectus,” Uber CFO 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.”
The tech firm has spent heavily to attract users to its platform as rival Lyft, which also recently went public, has battled for market share. Uber reported a loss of $1.8 billion in fiscal 2018 and warned in its S-1 SEC filing that it may never achieve profitability. Uber has attributed its losses to investments in its platform.
Despite early shakiness, several Wall Street firms were bullish on Uber’s potential ahead of its earnings report. Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives set a “outperform” rating and $65 price target for Uber’s shares over the next 12 months.
“We continue to see Uber as well positioned to capture a $5.7 trillion opportunity globally on transportation which swells to $7-$8 trillion when including third-party food delivery and freight/logistics,” Ives said in a note to investors. “A core tenet of our bull thesis is around Uber’s ability to morph its unrivaled ridesharing platform into a broader consumer engine with Uber Eats, Uber Freight, and autonomous initiatives ‘just scratching the surface’ of the full monetization potential.”