Lyft has never been profitable. Its entire business model is based on scale and the hope that someday it will turn a corner and be able to offer enough services to be in the black. We do not know when, or if, that day will come, and it certainly isn’t today: Lyft just reported its first-ever earnings report as a publicly traded company, and hoo boy is it not profitable.
The company reported revenue of $776 million, which was north of analyst expectations of $739.4 million. And yet, its loss per share was a whopping $9.02–compared to expectations of $1.81. The company, it seems, is hemorrhaging money. It reported a net loss of $1.14 billion this past quarter:
Lyft’s net loss in all of 2018: $911m
Lyft’s net loss *just in the first quarter* of 2019: $1.139b
— Felix Salmon (@felixsalmon) May 7, 2019
Investors don’t seem to know what to make of the report. At first, Lyft shares slumped over 2% in after-hours trading, but now the stock is up over 2.5%.
The ride-hailing company said it expects to hit revenue of between $800 million and $810 million, but it will hit some snafus in the nearer term: Wednesday morning, both Lyft and Uber drivers are going on strike during the morning rush hour, in an attempt to send a message to the companies that they deserve better pay. The timing of the strike is intentional, as Uber plans to make its Wall Street debut on Thursday.
We’ll see if these upcoming planned actions will have an impact on either company’s Wall Street performance–or whether either decide to make strides in worker compensation. Meanwhile, it’s anyone’s guess if investors will warm up to Lyft after seeing these quarterly losses.