American ride-hailing and food delivery giant Uber released its adjusted profitability guidance for the first quarter, a better-than-expected outlook due to a spike in demand.
In a new 8-k profile This morning, Uber said it expected adjusted EBITDA — a heavily revised profit metric to eliminate a range of costs, including stock-based compensation — between $130 million and $150 million. la in the first quarter. This is up sharply from the previous guidance of $100 million to $130 million, offered in Q4 2021 earnings call last month.
Result? Demand for ride-hailing and food delivery is growing and is almost back to pre-pandemic levels.
In terms of ride-hailing, Uber says it has seen its rides index recover to 90% of its February 2019 results, while total bookings have returned to 95% year-over-year. . Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi also added in the same filing that “Total airport bookings originating in February have increased by more than 50% from the previous month, and the company is” preparing for the travel season. The upcoming calendar is going to be one of the strongest seasons ever.”
Demand for ride-hailing appears to be across all use cases, according to Khosrowshahi, who noted that growth in passenger volume includes travel, work, and evening outings.
Uber also noted that it has seen “sequential improvement in both mobility and adjusted EBITDA delivery.” Why share nuances when the aggregate numbers have been updated? Uber wants to emphasize that while its ride-hailing (“Mobility”) business is recovering, that performance boost has not come at the expense of its food delivery (“Delivery”) business. .
Uber’s food delivery business has created a big hedge in gross bookings (GMV) terms during the pandemic as ride-hailing services soar as people stay home.
The market was concerned that ride-hailing and delivery were two sides of the same coin, meaning they couldn’t grow at the same time; Uber’s latest figures show that’s indeed possible. The SEC filing implies that it has more operating leverage than some might have anticipated.
Shares of Uber are down about 1.8 percent today, although they started off on a strong note. Today’s tech stocks in general are taking a hit in global market trends.
Lyft has not released new guidance on its upcoming first-quarter earnings. The previous earnings report of rival Uber shows that passenger numbers are on a rebounding trend. The question is whether Lyft will see a similar increase in trips in the first two months of 2022.
Notably, Lyft is not in the food delivery business like Uber. Depending on one’s views on diversification specialization, Lyft’s sole focus on ride-hailing is a strength or a weakness.
In 2022, Uber beefed up its profit guidance and still managed to see a valuation drop in midday trading; The company has returned all profits from the pandemic in recent months. In fact, Uber’s valuation today is lower than it was in mid-2019, before it weathered the pandemic, scaled its delivery business, and managed to stay profitable, despite on an adjusted basis, quarterly.
It’s tough out there.