Uber Technologies Inc.

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Uber loses $1 billion in quarter as costs grow for drivers, food delivery

Alexandria Sage, Arjun Panchadar
Published MAY 31, 2019 / 3:09 AM

SAN FRANCISCO/BENGALURU (Reuters) - Uber Technologies Inc reported a $1 billion loss on Thursday as the ride-hailing service spends heavily to build up its food delivery and freight businesses, sending revenues up 20% in its first quarterly report as a public company.

Revenue of $3.1 billion matched the high end of the range Uber forecast for the quarter and the loss of $1.0 billion compared with the company’s forecast of $1.0 billion to $1.11 billion.

Shares rose 2.6% following a conference call with executives in which Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi cited business improvements, such as fewer consumer promotions in the second quarter, but called 2019 an “investment year.”

With its share price trading more than 10% below its IPO price of $45, Khosrowshahi will have to convince investors Uber can turn a profit, given its reliance on rider incentives and competition in all parts of its business, from its core business of ride hailing to food delivery to freight.

“Our story is simple. We’re the global player,” Khosrowshahi told analysts on his first earnings call after the company’s IPO earlier this month. “Our job is to grow fast at scale and more efficiently for a long, long time.”

The results indicate the newly public company was able to hit its own financial targets, likely to offer some assurance to investors.

Costs went up 35% in the quarter, as the company spent heavily in the run-up to its IPO earlier this month. Gross bookings, a measure of total value of rides before driver costs and other expenses, rose 34% from a year ago to $14.6 billion. Bookings were up 3.4% from the previous quarter, showing the difficulty of recruiting new riders in saturated markets.

But Wedbush analyst Ygal Arounian said he was encouraged by improvements in take rates, and accelerating revenue growth. Uber’s take rate is the revenue pocketed by the company after subtracting driver or restaurant pay and incentives.

“We’re still a while away from profitability, but Uber is expecting strong signs of improvement across many of its key metrics and that is an important sign for investors.”

Uber was the biggest of a group of Silicon Valley startups that have gone public this year against the backdrop of a global stock market sell-off sparked by renewed trade tensions between the United States and China. Uber also faces increased regulation in several countries and fights with its drivers over wages.

In the mature U.S. market, where Uber’s main rival is Lyft Inc, Khosrowshahi said two levers for growth were the expansion of rides into suburbs and a generational wave, in which millennials show little interest in car ownership.

Executives said signals from Lyft during its recent earnings call that its rival was focused less on price and more on brand and product was a positive. Khosrowshahi called it a “healthier mode of competing than just throwing money at a challenge.”

Overall, incentives paid to drivers more than doubled from a year earlier, outpacing revenue growth, as the company invested in its growing food delivery service, Uber Eats. In that unit, driver incentives tripled to $291 million while revenue rose 89 percent.

Uber was “very early in the stages” of exploiting how ride-hailing can help its Eats business, where take rates would improve over 2019, he said.

The company had begun to “upsell” riders to Eats deals, with encouraging early signs, Khosrowshahi said.

Uber said its monthly active users rose to 93 million globally, from 91 million at the end of the fourth quarter.

More details in https://www.reuters.com/article/us-uber-...SKCN1T02F0
Specuvestor: Asset - Business - Structure.
Here’s what Uber is doing to solve its sexual assault problem after reporting more than 3,000 incidents last year
* Uber revealed that more than 3,000 sexual assaults occurred during rides on its service in the U.S. in 2018 in a comprehensive US Safety Report on Thursday.
* “Voluntarily publishing a report that discusses these difficult safety issues is not easy,” wrote Tony West, chief legal officer at Uber in the report.
* The ride-hailing company and peers including Lyft have been criticized over sexual assault problems for years. The report also details new features and practices Uber is trying to prevent assaults.

Lora Kolodny

Uber revealed that more than 3,000 sexual assaults occurred during rides on its service in the U.S. in 2018. It shared these statistics in a comprehensive U.S. Safety Report on Thursday.

The ride-hailing company and peers, including Lyft, have been criticized over these personal safety issues for years. Uber has seen an uptick in lawsuits over sexual assaults that allegedly occurred between riders and drivers in recent years.

Thursday’s report also revealed that Uber received 235 reports of rape -- the most serious category of sexual assault -- during rides in 2018, an average of four reported incidents a week in the states. That was a worse rate than the 229 reports of rape that the company received in 2017.

Drivers and passengers using Uber’s ride-hailing service are both at risk. Riders accounted for 45% of accused parties across the 5 most serious sexual assault categories, Uber said in its report. (Some riders reportedly assaulted other riders.) However, 92% of the reported rapes were allegedly committed by drivers.

More details in https://www.cnbc.com/2019/12/05/uber-re.html
Specuvestor: Asset - Business - Structure.
Uber sells Indian Eats business to Zomato in move to cut losses

Chandini Monnappa, Rama Venkat
JANUARY 21, 2020 / 9:00 AM

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Uber (UBER.N) has sold its loss-making online food-ordering business in India to local rival Zomato in exchange for a 9.99% stake in the startup backed by China’s Ant Financial.

Since launching in India in 2017, Uber Eats has struggled to gain market share and is a distant third to Tencent Holdings (0700.HK) backed Swiggy and Zomato. All three have spent heavily on deals and discounts to attract customers in a highly competitive market.

The deal will allow San Francisco-based Uber to cut its losses and yet keep a stake in a market expected to be worth $15 billion by 2023.

“For Uber, the deal means redefining competence,” independent brand consultant Harish Bijoor said. “It should stick to what its competence is, in terms of being an aggregator of cabs.”

Uber Eats’ India operations contributed just 3% of gross bookings for the business globally, while accounting for a quarter of its adjusted operating losses, Uber said. It did not say how much those losses were or disclose financial details of the deal.

Zomato, valued at around $3 billion after raising money from Ant this month, reported a loss of $294 million for the year ended March 2019. Swiggy made a loss of $330 million.

Uber, which has promised to be profitable at an operational level by the end of 2021, has been trying to sell the India Eats business for a year, three sources familiar with the talks told Reuters.

It earlier held talks with Swiggy for a similar deal but those fell through due to valuation and regulatory issues, two of them said.

Uber and Swiggy did not respond to requests for comment.

Zomato said in a blogpost buying the Eats operations would make it “the undisputed market leaders in the food delivery category in India”.

Uber Eats in India will discontinue operations and direct restaurants, delivery partners and users to the Zomato platform from Tuesday.

Zomato’s orders per month should go up by 10 million from the 38 million-40 million it was clocking before the deal, a source familiar with the deal said.

More details in https://www.reuters.com/article/us-uber-...SKBN1ZK04A
Specuvestor: Asset - Business - Structure.

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