Lyft posted a huge loss in its first-ever quarterly earnings since going public, but told investors that a profit is within reach.
On Tuesday, Lyft (LYFT) shares were ticking up 2.3% in after-hours trading after it posted an adjusted loss of $9.02 per share, larger than what analysts had expected but smaller than a loss of $11.40 per share last year. It guided for revenue of $800 million and $810 million in the second quarter.
On a call, Lyft executives said that 2019 will be a "peak year" for losses, after which the company will begin moving towards profitability on a consolidated basis. Questions about Lyft's ability to turn a profit played a role in dragging down shares since its Mar. 29 IPO, with its stock trading 13.75% lower since then.
In response to a question about Lyft's path to profitability, Lyft's CFO Brian Roberts highlighted its investments in areas outside of ridehailing.
"Our core ridesharing business today drives our P&L and is trending strongly...we're also making investments in bikes, scooters because it will strengthen the core business," he said, also alluding to "growth levers" that Lyft can leverage connected to those non-core lines of business.
Another non-core area that Lyft is working on, along with numerous competitors: Autonomous vehicles.
In its S-1 filing, Lyft called out its autonomous vehicle strategy as "a critical part of the future of transportation" that is also nonetheless uncertain from a regulatory, technological and public opinion perspective.
Lyft has an existing partnership with Aptiv, an autonomous vehicle maker, that has delivered 35,000 rides in the Las Vegas area since January 2018, according to its IPO filing. On Tuesday, Lyft annouced a new partnership with Waymo, owned by Alphabet (GOOGL - Get Report) , to add ten Waymo autonomous vehicles in the Phoenix area.
Lyft users in the area can hail one of the Waymo cars through Lyft's platform, provided that their pickup and destination falls within the allowable range of Waymo cars in the area. The rides will also include a safety driver.
Asked how much a Waymo ride would cost relative to Lyft's non-autonomous rides, Lyft executives declined to say.