Uber Says It's Begun Rebounding From Coronavirus Plunge

CEO Dara Khosrowshahi says ride-hailing provider Uber is "already seeing the worst" and is seeing "recovery" in some places.
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Uber Technologies UBER shares on Thursday rose after Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi said the ride-hailing company was rebounding from the plunge in business it had suffered from the coronavirus pandemic.

“We believe we’re already seeing the worst of the impact and the recovery in some places,” Khosrowshahi said in a call with analysts, according to CNBC. “Once things start moving, Uber will, too.”

Some analysts and investors are more skeptical. RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Mahaney said Uber’s revenue projections for all of 2020 could plummet 14% to 37%, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. 

He sees earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, a profit gauge Uber favors, sliding 7% to 9%.

Khosrowshahi said Uber’s rides segment is enduring a 60% to 70% plunge in cities most affected by coronavirus.

Spending on Uber rides dropped 21% in the seven days through March 16, compared with the previous week, the Journal reported, citing research firm Edison Trends. 

Things were looking pretty good prior to then. Week-over-week ride spending for Uber averaged 3% in the eight weeks through March 2.

The food-delivery service Uber Eats has benefited from the coronavirus spread, as consumers are staying home and ordering in food, Khosrowshahi said.

“Our Eats business is an important resource right now,” he said, according to CNBC. “Even in Seattle, our Eats business is still growing.” Seattle is one of the hardest-hit cities.

The company has enough cash to last through the crisis, $10 billion unrestricted as of Feb. 29, Khosrowshahi said.

At last check, Uber shares traded at $19.45, up 31%.