Uber Technologies (UBER) shares tumbled Friday after the world's biggest ride-hailing group posted a wider-than-expected second quarter loss of $5.24 billion and cautioned that more red ink would follow in the months ahead.
Uber said its loss for the three months ending in June, the second quarterly report as a public company, came in at $4.72 per share, well ahead of the $2.70 tally forecasts by analysts that cover the group. Overall revenues, Uber said, rose 14% from last year to $3.17 billion, but again fell shy of the Street consensus forecast of $3.32 billion.
Looking into 2019, Uber said increased spending and expansion costs will likely mean the group posts a full-year loss of between $3 billion and $3.2 billion, but nonetheless sees gross bookings for the ride-sharing platform, which topped 100 million monthly active users in the second quarter, rising to an estimated range of between $65 billion and $67 billion.
"While you often have to make trade-offs in life, we believe that we can continue to invest aggressively and grow while driving efficiencies from scale by building great tech to improve effectiveness and from good old-fashioned focus on the bottom line," CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told investors on a conference call late Thursday. "I think you know that the balance between the top and the bottom line is more of an art rather than a science. So I if I told you that we had kind of the scientific formulae that we're solving for here, we'd be lying to you,".
"We think that as we look at our marketing spend, our incentive spend, how we can leverage the business going forward, we think that there's the opportunity to scale our expenses or be more efficient with our incentive spend or be more efficient with our marketing spend really doubled down on less, smaller kind of projects and doubling down on the channels that are really working for us," he added.
Uber shares were marked 9.63% lower at the opening bell Friday to change hands at $38.83 each, a move that leaves the stock some 13.7% south of its May 10 IPO price of $45 per share.
Uber's ride-hailing revenues grew just 2% from last year to $2.3 billion, the company said, although the average revenue per rider rose 20%. while Uber Eats, its food-deliver business, saw revenues rise 72% to $595 million.
The group's overall results, however, offer a sharp contrast to its main rival, Lyft Inc. LYFT, which said yesterday that its loss for the three months ending in June was tabbed at 68 cents per share, notably lower than the $8.37 per share loss it booked last year and 32 cents inside the Street consensus forecast.
Group revenues, as well, impressed analysts', rising 72% from the same period last year to a forecast-beating $867.3 million. Lyft said revenue per rider rose 22% from last year to $39.77, while the number of overall customers surged 41% to nearly 22 million in its first quarterly report as a public company.
Lyft shares were marked 1.61% lower in pre-market trading Friday, after posting a 3% gain Thursday, to indicate an opening bell price of $61.10 each.