Uber Technologies Inc. on Wednesday said it continued to grow in the fourth quarter, with gross bookings for its rides business nearing pre-pandemic levels and delivery “here to stay.”
After beating sales and profit expectations, Uber
shares rose as much as 8% in extended trading, after adding 4.75% in the regular session to close at $40.16.
“In Q4, more consumers were active on our platform than ever before,” said Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi in a statement. He also said on the company’s earnings call that “Uber Eats became the fastest-growing delivery player in America.” Uber Eats is the No. 2 delivery platform in the U.S. behind DoorDash Inc.
Also on the call, Khosrowshahi and Chief Financial Officer Nelson Chai repeatedly emphasized that Uber’s size and reach is its strength.
“We added 20 million new riders just in Q4 in our mobility business,” Chai said. “So if you think about the network effect and our ability to operate across our 10,000 cities in our leadership position, you can think about that leverage that we have globally that nobody else has.”
Uber will also get in on the burgeoning ultrafast delivery space mostly through partnerships, Chai said, adding that the company will talk more about its plans for further growth during its analyst day Thursday.
As for the people who provide the services the company offers, Uber gained almost 325,000 workers on its platform in the fourth quarter, its CEO said, bringing the global total to 4.4 million. Chai said Uber is in “the best supply situation we’ve had since the pandemic started.”
The ride-hailing giant reported rides gross bookings of $11.3 billion, up 67% year over year, and a 34% increase in delivery gross bookings, to $13.4 billion. Overall gross bookings were $25.9 billion, beating analysts’ expectation of $25.6 billion, though the company’s 1.77 billion trips fell short of analysts’ estimates of 1.93 billion. Total revenue grew 83% to $5.78 billion from $3.17 billion in the year-ago quarter, beating analysts’ expectations of $5.35 billion.
Uber reported fourth-quarter profit of $892 million, or 44 cents a share, compared with a loss of $968 million, or 54 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The net income includes a $1.4 billion pre-tax net benefit related to Uber’s investments in Southeast Asia-based delivery company Grab and Aurora Technologies, the autonomous vehicle company that absorbed Uber’s self-driving unit. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected the company to post an adjusted loss of 30 cents a share.
Adjusted Ebitda for the quarter was $86 million, beating analysts’ expectation of $67 million. That compared with negative adjusted Ebitda of $454 million in the year-ago quarter.
For the full year, Uber reported a loss of $496 million, or 29 cents a share, on revenue of $17.45 billion. Analysts had expected a loss of $1.04 a share on $17.13 billion in revenue. The company’s gross bookings totaled $90.42 billion, surpassing expectations of $90.19 billion.
The company expects first-quarter gross bookings of $25 billion to $26 billion, and adjusted Ebitda of $100 million to $130 million.
Shares of Uber have fallen more than 8.5% so far this year, while the S&P 500 index
is down about 5% year to date.
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