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Uber's Losses Keep Accumulating, But CEO Expects Profitability In Two Years

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Uber's Losses Keep Accumulating, But CEO Expects Profitability In Two Years

Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE: UBER) has been through a rough patch since its IPO in May as the company lost a third of its value since then. Now, the company reported its third quarter earnings which show it is continuing its losing streak, causing its stock to go down nearly 7% following the report. With its main competitor Lyft Inc (NASDAQ: LYFT) facing the same struggle, the company has a goal to achieve profitability for the full 2021 fiscal year.

Third Quarter Earnings

On the bright side, the ride-hailing giant picked up its revenue growth as it increased 30% comparing to the same period last year, achieving $3.81 billion, topping expectation of $3.63 billion by analysts polled by Fact Set. Uber convinced more consumers to use its range of services as its number of monthly active consumers grew 26% from the same time last year, reaching over 103 million.
But transitioning to its bottom line, the company ended up losing $1.16 billion, continuing its losing streak. And this third-quarter loss also includes $401 million in stock-based compensation due to its initial public offering. However, the per-share loss in the latest quarter of 61 cents a share was better than the analyst expectation of 81 cents per share according to Forbes.

Competition

It's rival in the US isn't doing any better, in fact Lyft's value dropped about 40% since its IPO price. But last week after it reported its third-quarter earnings it managed to beat analyst expectations which many analysts saw as a signal that the company might arrive to positive earnings more quickly than previously expected (but those before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization). Executives at Lyft also expect the company to become profitable in the fourth quarter of 2021.

But Lyft is only present in the U.S. and its scope is only about people, whereas Uber gets much more competitors due to its Uber Eats segment like GrubHub Inc (NYSE: GRUB) whose stock just got crushed due to weaker than expected Q3 results, poor forecasts with customers becoming less loyal to a single platform. But Uber Eats' revenue managed to grow an impressive 64% year-over-year and amounted to $645 million despite being withdrawn from South Korea in September due to pressuring competition which is also present in other countries.

On the other continent, Russia's Yandex (NASDAQ: YNDX) that is registered in the Netherlands and listed on the U.S. exchange, suffered a 19% drop in its value in one day, wiping $2 billion from its market capitalization. The company reported a strong third quarter earnings that managed to beat estimates as revenues increased 39% over the quarter and expecting them to grow 36-38% more than last year, making it already a profitable division eight years after its inception.

Yet this wasn't enough to prevent shares from slipping back due to underlying concerns as investors find that the company is vulnerable to potential developments in Kremlin and specifically, regulating the tech sector and limiting foreign power in IT companies.
Meanwhile, France's Kapten is already the second-largest ride hailing app in London only 6 months after entering the market, with 700,000 customers serviced and 17,000 drivers – setting an ambitious target to double the number of customers over the next year in a market that is twice the size of Paris, with the company's aim being to eventually move to an all-electric fleet.

Outlook

The-ride hailing pioneer will continue investing in growth and enhancement of its businesses, with Uber Eats surely being one of those domains. But Both Uber and Lyft are facing potentially higher costs for paying drivers due to a new law in California requiring them to classify their drivers as employees. And if their drivers are entitled to a minimum wage and benefits, this could be a cost that can ultimately break these already struggling companies.

And Uber already laid off 2% of its workforce since July on the path to cut its losses with the company facing fierce competition in each segment and every country it operates in. In an attempt to get exempt from the new law, the two companies proposed a ballot initiative. But the main problem remains in the unsustainable business model as self-driving cars despite being ‘in the cards' are surely not ‘just around the corner', time-wise.

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