Lyft’s first report since IPO shows strong growth, huge loss

SAN FRANCISCO — In its first financial report since going public, Lyft Inc. exceeded analysts’ sales expectations but signaled no end to its spending spree.

The San Francisco-based company projected second-quarter revenue of $ 800 million to $ 810 million. Analysts were expecting $ 782 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Lyft anticipates sales of $ 3.28 billion to $ 3.3 billion for the year, also above estimates.

Lyft, the second-largest ride-hailing service in North America, used the occasion to tout a new agreement with Waymo. The Google affiliate will deploy 10 autonomous vehicles near Phoenix in the next few months for customers to book through the Lyft app.

In the first quarter, sales grew 95 percent to $ 776 million, beating estimates by $ 38 million. Lyft also reported an eye-popping net loss of $ 1.14 billion in the quarter, which was larger than the company’s loss for the entire year of 2018. Most of the costs were attributed to stock-based compensation and expenses tied to the initial public offering, but the numbers still unnerved some investors.

Shares were down 18 percent from the March IPO price when the market closed Tuesday. They soared in after-hours trading and then quickly gave up those gains, as investors weighed strong growth against the giant losses to come. The stock was down as much as 3.9 percent in extended trading.

The report suggests intense competition with Uber Technologies Inc. in the ride-hailing market will continue. Lyft projected a loss before interest, taxes and other expenses of as much as $ 1.18 billion for 2019.

Uber had estimated about $ 3 billion in revenue in the first quarter, up 19 percent from a year before. On Tuesday, Bloomberg reported that Uber has enough demand to price its IPO shares at the top of its current range. Uber is expected to price Thursday and begin trading Friday on the New York Stock Exchange, in what’s expected to be the biggest U.S. IPO in years.

Lyft had warned investors that 2019 will be a costly year. Uber has similarly signaled that competition has further extended its losses. Investors are watching for an eventual cease-fire, but the battle for market share remains the priority for the time being, according to analysts.

In its financial statement, Lyft said active riders climbed 46 percent to 20.5 million. Meanwhile, revenue per active rider increased 34 percent to $ 37.86. Lyft didn’t disclose gross bookings this quarter, eliminating one measure investors have used to compare the business to Uber’s. Lyft had shared an annual number in its IPO filing.

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Section Page News – Automotive News

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