UPDATED 22:52 EST / OCTOBER 30 2019

27378325954_d28c39095c_z EMERGING TECH

Lyft beats earnings predictions but is still bleeding money

Ride-hailing firm Lyft Inc. beat Wall Street earnings predictions in its third quarter, but like the previous quarter, the company continues to bleed money even it’s less than expected.

Lyft reported a loss of $463.5 million in the quarter ended Sept. 30, nearly double its loss a year ago. The loss came in at $1.57 per share versus estimates of $1.66, according to CNBC.

Lyft’s revenue rose 63%, to $955.6 million, versus an expected figure of $915 million. Active rides, a key metric to the company, rose 28%, to 22.3 million, while revenue per rider increased 27%, to $42.82.

“Our third-quarter results demonstrated the significant progress Lyft has made on our path to profitability,” Logan Green, co-founder and chief executive officer of Lyft, said in a statement. “Record revenue was generated by strong growth in both Active Riders and Revenue per Active Rider as we continue to increase engagement through product innovation and execution.”

Looking forward to the fourth quarter, Lyft predicted that it will book revenue of between $975 million and $985 million, creeping ever so close to the $1 billion mark. Losses for the quarter are expected to be between $160 million to $170 million, an improvement on prior implied guidance of $240 million to $245 million.

For the calendar year, Lyft is anticipating revenue of between $3.57 billion and $3.58 billion, up slightly from previous guidance estimates on a loss of between $708 million and $718 million, down from previous estimates.

After Lyft’s IPO bombed in March, Green was upbeat about Lyft’s prospects going forward, even going as far as suggesting that profitability may be on the company’s horizon — the end of 2021, to be precise, when Green expects Lyft to be in the black after adjustments for interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

“Our continued focus on consumer transportation is yielding meaningful improvements in monetization and strong operating leverage,” Green said.

Investors weren’t overly excited about Lyft’s financials, though the company’s share price did rise in after-hours trading by about 2%. The price is still way below Lyft’s IPO price of $72 per share.

Even so, at least some analysts say the underlying business is sound. “We continue to view LYFT as well-positioned to scale as secular tailwinds drive user penetration and frequency,” Cowen & Co. analyst John Blackledge wrote in a note to clients.

Photo: skellysf/Flickr

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