Lyft shares rise nearly 11%, posting tighter-than-expected annual losses and showing signs of optimism

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Lyft Inc. reported fourth-quarter results Tuesday showing there was a continued spike in private travel, but it was marred by a surge in COVID-19 cases that prompted the reintroduction of some restrictions. Lyft LYFT, + 0.43% said it had 12.552 million active passengers in the quarter, while analysts expected 13.2 million. But Chief Executive Logan Green said on the earnings call that ride-sharing trends are positive.

“Based on current trends, we believe the United States could reach critical levels of immunity earlier than many international destinations,” Green said. Still, CFO Brian Roberts said it was “extremely difficult to forecast first-quarter travel with confidence.” Lyft shares rose more than 10% in extended trading after rising 0.4% in the regular session to close at $ 53.64, after the San Francisco-based company posted a narrower annual loss of the expected. The company touted its continued cost-cutting measures and said it was well on its way to EBITDA profitability for the fourth quarter and perhaps even the third quarter. The private transportation company reported a loss in the fourth quarter of $ 458 million, or $ 1.43 per share, compared to a loss of $ 356 million, or $ 1.19 per share, in the same period last year. . The adjusted net loss was $ 185.3 million, or 58 cents per share, adjusted for share-based compensation, payroll tax expense and more. Revenue fell to $ 570 million from $ 1 billion in the prior year quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast a loss of $ 391 million, or 71 cents a share, on revenue of $ 560.3 million. For the full year, Lyft reported a loss of $ 1.75 billion, or $ 5.61 per share, on revenue of $ 2.4 billion, compared to a loss of $ 2.6 billion, or $ 11.44. per share, on revenue of $ 3.6 billion in fiscal 2019. Adjusted loss was $ 829 million, adjusted for share-based compensation, payroll taxes, and more. Analysts on average were expecting a loss of $ 1.68 billion, or $ 2.82 per share, on revenue of $ 2.35 billion, according to FactSet. While Lyft executives said it was difficult to predict what would happen in the first quarter, they expressed optimism about the subsequent quarters and beyond. “I think there is a lot of publicity that is kind of silly about how cities are dead and everyone is going to leave cities,” Green said on the call. “There have been economic disasters, wars, pandemics in the past. And after each one, the cities come back stronger than ever. So I don’t expect that exchange rate to have an impact on our business in the long term. “Lyft shares are up 10% year-to-date. The company’s shares are also up about 79% in the years. past three months, as Lyft and other concert companies succeeded in passing a California ballot measure exempting them from a state law that would require them to classify their drivers as employees rather than independent contractors. On the call, the Lyft President John Zimmer reiterated the company’s intention to build on the victory of the concert companies in the state, saying: “We continue to see the result in California as a turning point in the conversation about the future of work in the United States. United. “Other future plans that executives addressed on the call included autonomous vehicles and business-to-business delivery. Green referred to the partnership Lyft has with Motional, with which it has p stolen from autonomous vehicle rides since 2018. The companies announced in December a plan to launch fully autonomous vehicles by 2023. As for business-to-business delivery, Zimmer said the company was not ready to discuss details. But he said he was “excited” about the opportunity for Lyft and local businesses looking for a delivery solution “that doesn’t compete with them for direct customer relationships.”