Today after the bell, Uber reported its financial performance in the fourth quarter. The company reported $25.9 billion in gross platform spend, up 51% from a year ago, and revenue of $5.78 billion, up 83% from the fourth quarter of 2020. The company also reported GAAP net income of $0.44 per share, although this figure included non-operating investment-related items.
Analysts had expected the company to report a loss per share of $0.35 against earnings of $5.34 billion, according to estimates. shared by Yahoo Finance. The shares of the American company rose just under 6% shortly after the release of its results.
On a per-segment basis, here’s how Uber’s top business units performed in terms of revenue:
The company’s diversification is in full force in the numbers above, with the ride-sharing app recording the slowest growth in results for Uber’s flagship unit, losing even the revenue crown for delivery. However, when it comes to generating heavily adjusted EBITDA, things are quite different:
Here we can see that Uber’s ride-hailing business remains absolutely supreme when it comes to creating margin for the company’s corporate operations to charge. In contrast, operations focused on delivery and freight effectively canceled in the quarter. Still, for Uber, posting positive adjusted EBITDA is a useful indication that its business has matured into something less awash in red paint than before, helped in large part by the company’s delivery work shifting its bottom line to the green.
Yesterday, Uber’s rival Lyft reported yet another quarter of adjusted profitability and fourth-quarter revenue that exceeded expectations. Uber and Lyft shares rose during regular trading.
While the above news is generally positive, by more traditional metrics, Uber remains unprofitable. For example, in the fourth quarter of 2021, the company’s operating income reached -$550 million. However, $1.47 billion in “other” income more than filled that shortfall. What was that other income? According to the company, the line item was “primarily due to aggregate unrealized gains related to the revaluation of the Uber Grab and Aurora equity investments, partially offset by an unrealized loss related to the revaluation of the Uber equity investment.” at Didi”.
While welcome, these gains will not persist quarterly, implying that Uber’s business, once all expenses are accounted for in its operating results, remains unprofitable. Although less than before. A good way to visualize the situation is the operating cash burn per year. In 2020, Uber’s operations consumed $2.75 billion; in 2021, the company’s operating cash flow was much lower – $445 million.
Looking ahead, Uber expects to generate gross bookings of “$25 billion to $26 billion” in Q1 2022 and adjusted EBITDA of “$100 million to $130 million.” Gross bookings (gross platform spend) are flat, slightly negative compared to the fourth quarter 2021 results, while the adjusted EBITDA number is a modest improvement from the $86 million fourth quarter result.
Of course, more to come after the earnings call, but this is your first look!