Uber Technologies Inc on Monday disappointed investors with quarterly results showing lackluster gains in bookings and monthly active users, two of the metrics most closely watched by Wall Street.
The ride-hailing company beat estimates for quarterly revenue and loss, improved its annual loss forecast and pledged to turn a profit by 2021.
The San Francisco-based company is seeking to assure investors it can evolve from a ride-hailing service to a global all-in-one transportation platform.
On a conference call with reporters following the report, Uber executives said the company would spend less aggressively and turn an adjusted profit in 2021.
“We will be driving discipline across the company and only doing investments that we can afford,” chief executive officer Dara Khosrowshahi said.
The forecast echoed a commitment from Uber’s smaller rival, Lyft Inc, which said it would be profitable by the fourth quarter of 2021, a year earlier than expected.
Lyft, which focuses exclusively on transportation, blew past analysts’ third-quarter estimates when it reported results last week.
Khosrowshahi has sought to reign in spending, slicing about 1,200 positions from sales and marketing, engineering and product.
Like Lyft, Uber has also cut back on rider discounts and driver incentives in a bid to improve margins and narrow losses.
Uber would exit markets and dispose of assets where it was clear it could not command No. 1 or No. 2 positions within the next 18 months, Khosrowshahi said.
Uber’s business strategy hinges on convincing existing ride-hailing customers to use more services, including bikes, scooters, helicopters and public transportation, as well as food and grocery delivery. Uber’s newer initiatives, including a job matching service for gig workers in Chicago and financial services for drivers, further demonstrate the company’s grand ambitions.
The company’s shares on Monday closed at US$31.08, well below their US$45 initial public offering price, and were as low as US$29.37 in after-hours trading.
Although profitability might still be a couple years away, it is earlier than analysts expected. Uber ended the third quarter with about US$12.7 billion in cash, suggesting it can continue investing in growth where it does not expect continued losses.
Adjusted loss for the quarter widened to US$585 million, compared with US$485 million during the same period last year, but was still better than an average of analysts’ estimates of US$808 million.
Quarterly adjusted revenue increased 33 percent to US$3.5 billion, above estimates of US$3.39 billion.
Uber revised its annual loss forecast to US$2.8 billion to US$2.9 billion, an improvement of US$250 million.
It would need to do more to attract customers.
Monthly active platform users, meaning those who ordered food or a ride one or more times during the quarter, was 103 million, up 26 percent.
Analysts expected 107 million.
Gross bookings, a measure of the total value of rides, food orders and other businesses, were US$16.5 billion, compared with estimates of US$16.7 billion. Food delivery was especially disappointing.
DEVELOPING TALENT: The electronics contractor is looking to recruit people to work in core tech fields and emerging industries like electric cars and robotics Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the world’s largest contract electronics maker, has launched a recruitment drive, offering a monthly salary of no less than NT$45,000 (US$1,485) to university graduates. For those with a master’s degree, the starting pay would be NT$52,000 per month at the minimum, while doctorate degree holders would receive at least NT$60,000 a month, Hon Hai said a statement issued early this week. The latest recruitment drive is aimed at attracting talent in core technology fields — artificial intelligence, semiconductors and next-generation mobile communications — and emerging industries — electric vehicles, digital healthcare and robotics, the
MRT TRAVEL FALLS: In February, ridership on the Taipei MRT System fell 8.96 percent from an average of 2.01 million per day in January Scooter sales jumped 13 percent last month as more commuters turned to two-wheelers to avoid public transportation amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the latest statistics showed. Sales expanded to 74,493 units last month, compared with 65,913 units in February, statistics released on Wednesday by Kwang Yang Motor Co (光陽工業) and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications showed. In the first quarter, aggregate sales slid 0.51 percent year-over-year to 186,627 units, from 187,580 units, data showed. Kwang Yang, the nation’s biggest scooter manufacturer, continued to lead the market by selling 24,136 vehicles last month, growing 6.12 percent from 20,785 units in the previous month, while
Asustek Computer Inc (華碩), the nation’s leading PC vendor, yesterday launched its first dual-screen gaming laptop powered by Intel Corp’s latest central processing units (CPUs). The PC manufacturer’s announcement closely followed the US chipmaker’s unveiling of its 10th Generation Core H-series, the fastest commercial mobile processors with speeds of up to 5 gigahertz. Although Asustek’s Zephyrus Duo 15, the highlight of its Republic of Gamers line, is not the company’s first laptop with two screens, it is its first designed specifically for gaming. Nestled between the primary display panel and the keyboard, the secondary display, which Asustek calls the ScreenPad Plus, is angled
NO ILL EFFECT: Last month’s data mainly reflected deals made in February, when the spread of COVID-19 was still relatively mild in Taiwan, housing brokers said Housing transactions in the six special municipalities totaled 19,824 units last month, up 7.8 percent from a year earlier, brokers said, citing government data. Last month’s data mainly reflected deals made in February, when the pinch of the COVID-19 pandemic was not yet evident, they said. Taoyuan posted the largest improvement, with housing transactions soaring 36.6 percent year-on-year to 3,676 units, local government data showed. Taiwan Realty Co (台灣房屋) attributed the pickup to the completion of two presale residential projects in the municipality. Houses in Taoyuan have increasingly gained in popularity in the past few year years due to relatively affordable home prices and