Analysts were looking for Lyft (LYFT) to have an especially good second quarter, and that's exactly what the ride-hailing company delivered Wednesday after the close, leading to upwards estimate revisions from analysts.
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Lyft shares were rising 5.4% to $63.54 Thursday early afternoon. For the second quarter, Lyft posted an adjusted net loss per share of 68 cents, narrower than Wall Street's estimate of $1.07. In the year-earlier period, Lyft's adjusted loss was $8.37 a share. Revenue was $867.3 million, up 72% year-over-year and beating analysts' expectations of $809 million. And the number of active riders rose 41% to 21.8 million, beating the consensus estimate of 20.9 million. Revenue per active rider was $39.77, up 22%, beating Wall Street's estimate of $38.
For 2019, management guided for an adjusted EBITDA loss of between $850 million to $875 million, better than the previous expectation of a loss of $1.15 billion to $1.18 billion.
Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives upgraded Lyft to outperform from neutral in a Thursday morning note. Ives raised his price target to $75 from $67, suggesting 21% upside from the stock's current level.
"Lyft exhibited in 2Q19 many of the indicators we had been looking for to get more positive on the story," Ives wrote. "Lyft reported better-than-expected active riders, revenue per active rider, ridership, and profitability which was a major step in the right direction in our opinion towards gaining much needed Street credibility." Credibility was a major theme analysts were looking for before the earnings, as noted by D.A. Davidson & Co.'s Tom White before the earnings print.
"The most impressive part of the quarter to us was that Lyft was able to drive strong rider and revenue per rider growth, while significantly cutting back on promotions," Ives added. "Coming out of 1Q Lyft noted it saw an improving competitive environment which it expected to lead to less discounting." Ives said he had feared Lyft would lose market share after cutting promotions, but that was not the case.
Meanwhile, RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Mahaney raised his price target to $76 a share from $72, keeping his outperform rating. "We see Lyft starting to prove out its PTP (Path to Profitability), which we outlined as the largest investor pushback during the IPO." He noted that Lyft's EBITDA losses were improving and expected that 2018 would be the company's peak adjusted EBITDA loss, rather than 2019. "And 2020 will be lower still, in our view," he wrote.
Arch-rival Uber (UBER) reports its second-quarter earnings after the close on Thursday.