Lyft shares soar as ride-sharing rally continues

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Lyft Inc. released quarterly results Tuesday that reflect what it has been saying for the past few months: Transportation is back. Lyft LYFT, -1.56% said it had 13.49 million active users in the first quarter, an increase of around 940,000 from the previous quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected an average of 12.8 million.

“We had an exceptionally strong first quarter as more people started moving again,” Brian Roberts, Lyft’s chief financial officer, said in a statement. “Our results significantly exceeded our prospects driven by high demand in our network.” The company’s shares rose as much as 7% after hours, after falling 1.5% in the regular session to close at $ 56.19. The San Francisco-based company reported a loss of $ 427.3 million, or $ 1.31 per share, compared to $ 398.1 million, also $ 1.31 per share, in the same period of the year. previous. Adjusted for share-based compensation, payroll taxes and other costs, the company’s net loss was $ 114.1 million. Revenues fell to $ 609 million from $ 955.7 million in the prior year quarter, but were up 7% from the prior quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast, on average, a loss of 60 cents a share on revenue of $ 558.2 million. The company saw the biggest increase in demand in March, executives said at the earnings call with analysts. The first quarter ended March 31, but Lyft executives gave a glimpse of what happened in April: Rides were down from the previous month, which they attributed to seasonality, but were up 100% year-over-year. “We continue to believe that there is significant pent-up demand in travel,” Chief Executive Logan Green said on the call. “With warmer weather and restrictions easing, we anticipate that more people will want to get out.” Roberts said it expects second-quarter revenue of $ 680 million to $ 700 million and an adjusted EBITDA loss of $ 35 million to $ 45 million. Analysts are expecting second-quarter revenue of $ 683.3 million. In addition to expressing an optimistic outlook for travel in the second quarter and beyond, plus the demand for bike and scooter sharing, Roberts also said the company expects to achieve EBITDA profitability in the third quarter. Lyft executives addressed some timely issues on the call, including demand for transportation outpacing supply of drivers. They said drivers’ earnings are at an all-time high due to the imbalance, which they expect to correct in the third quarter as concerns about the pandemic subside and unemployment benefits expire. John Zimmer, president of Lyft, said that “drivers earn $ 35 per hour on average in some of our busiest markets. We believe that more drivers will be enrolled based on these dynamics. “He added that he expects food delivery drivers to move on to the rides, where they can earn more money, if the demand for delivery decreases as the pandemic decreases. In addition, Zimmer said the company is in talks with lawmakers on driver classification issues. The issue sent Lyft shares plummeted last week after comments from new head of the US Department of Labor, Marty Walsh. See: Biden‘s secretary of labor says that “in many cases, gig workers should be classified as employees.” Also: gig work could change under Biden’s secretary of labor. This is how Zimmer said he is optimistic that victory of Proposition 22 the industry in California may expand to other states this year. California voters approved Proposition 22 in November, l or that allows Lyft and other gig companies to continue to classify their drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. Lyft shares are up nearly 15% so far this year and about 110% in the last 52 weeks. By comparison, Uber’s stock is up about 4% so far this year and about 90% in the last year. The S&P 500 SPX Index, -0.67% has risen about 11% year-to-date and about 45% in the last 52 weeks.