US ride-hailing company Lyft released its fourth-quarter financial results on Tuesday, a report that showed mixed growth – which in the area of active passengers did not meet analyst expectations.
The public company had fourth-quarter 2021 revenue of $969.9 million, up about 70% from the year-ago quarter, which was hit hard by the pandemic and its economic disruptions. On a sequential basis, Lyft grew 12% over the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Lyft’s net loss reached $258.6 million, inclusive, the company is quick to point out, of “$164.2 million in stock-based compensation and payroll tax-related expenses.” and $122.3 million in expenses related to changes in insurance liabilities required by regulatory agencies attributable to historical periods”.
Depending on whether you’re willing to let all of that detract from the company’s bottom line, Lyft’s adjusted net income came in at $32.1 million for the final three months of 2021, or adjusted earnings per share of $0.09.
Analysts had expected the former unicorn and startup to report revenues of $938.9 million and adjusted earnings per share of $0.09, per averages shared by our sister publication Yahoo Finance. Lyft has also surpassed its guidance, but that matters less than meeting analyst projections.
In the second and third quarters of 2021, Lyft reported its first positive Adjusted EBITDA, an adjusted method of calculating profit. It topped those results in the fourth quarter of 2021 with $74.7 million in adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.
Lyft shares are down more than 3% in after-hours trading.
Key comments on the company’s quarterly results seem to indicate that smoother-than-expected one-time passenger numbers may be to blame for Lyft’s share price decline; the company reported 18.728 million active passengers in the fourth quarter, up from Lyft’s 12.552 million a year earlier.
However, the street had expected a number just over 20 million for Q4 2021, perhaps indicating softer-than-expected demand for Lyft and related services. Critically, the company’s active passenger numbers dropped in the fourth quarter of last year when compared to the third quarter result, and remains below pre-pandemic levels:
Despite the fact that passenger levels are still far below expectations, Lyft’s annual revenues are up 36% over 2020 due to the general increase in passenger numbers. In 2020, there were an average of 13.75 million active passengers per quarter, up from an average of 17 million per quarter in 2021.
The higher revenue per active passenger is primarily attributable to overall revenue growth. There was an increase in revenue per trip due in large part to longer trips, much of which was to and from airports. In addition, Lyft says that pickup and ride frequency has also led to the rise.
While Omicron has had a significant impact on travel volume, causing demand for ride-sharing to decline, Lyft expects demand to begin to recover.
“Inside fact that, inside The last week in January, we it saw one to choose inside shared car tours at that we I see Like one positive sign,” CFO Elaine Paul said during Lyft’s Q4 2021 and full-year earnings call on Tuesday.
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