Lyft hikes revenue forecast as price war with Uber eases, ridership rises

Lyft Inc.on Wednesday reported a 72 percent jump in revenue in the second quarter, allowing the ride-hailing company to lift its forecasts as more riders used the service and price competition with rival Uber eased.

The increase in second-quarter revenue, to $ 867.3 million, was fueled by more active riders, who spent about a quarter more than they had a year ago.

The company boosted its revenue outlook for the year to between $ 3.47 billion and $ 3.5 billion, up from a prior range of $ 3.28 billion and $ 3.3 billion. Lyft also forecast third-quarter revenue of $ 900 million to $ 915 million, above the average analyst estimate of $ 840.9 million.

Its second-quarter net loss widened to $ 644.2 million from $ 178.9 million a year earlier as costs and expenses more than doubled to $ 1.54 billion. On an adjusted basis, its net loss widened to $ 197.3 million versus an adjusted net loss of $ 176.5 million in the second quarter of 2018.

The company said it expects a full-year adjusted EBITDA loss of between $ 850 million and $ 875 million, an improvement from previous guidance of a loss between $ 1.15 billion and $ 1.175 billion.

Lyft also said its lock-up period — the time after a public offering in which large shareholders are prohibited from selling shares — would come early, on Aug. 19, instead of Sept. 24.

“Wall Street has been eager for us to demonstrate our path for profitability,” Lyft CFO Brian Roberts told Reuters, saying strength in the company’s core ride-hailing business would “allow us to deliver more operating leverage.”

Roberts said that pricing for rides had become “more rational” in the quarter, meaning that Lyft spends less on promotions to beat rival Uber.

Shares in Lyft rose 5.3 percent to $ 63.50 in after-hours trading Wednesday. Shares of Lyft are down 25 percent since their market debut on March 29, erasing about $ 5 billion from its market capitalization, as investors continue to question whether the ride-hailing industry can be profitable.

Lyft and larger rival Uber, both unprofitable, have historically relied on heavy subsidization to attract riders. While the companies last quarter reported signs that price competition was easing, both are also spending to expand services into areas including self-driving technology for Lyft and food delivery for Uber.

On average, Lyft received $ 39.77 in revenue from each of its nearly 22 million active riders in the second quarter as a public company, a 22 percent rise in revenue per rider and 41 percent increase in riders over the same period in 2018.

“As a result of this positive momentum, we anticipate 2019 losses to be better than previously expected,” CEO Logan Green said in a statement.

Lyft has said its ride-hailing services would be profitable in the future, without giving any timeline, while also warning regulators that as a company it might continue posting losses as it invests heavily in self-driving cars, renting scooters and other ventures.

Lyft, which beat Uber to go public first, operates in over 300 cities in the United States and Canada. It says it had over 30 million riders in 2018. 

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Section Page News – Automotive News

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