News & Opinion | May 31, 2019 12:16 pm

Uber Has Already Lost Over $1 Billion This Year

The company may have a long road ahead to profitability

Uber makes its highly anticipated IPO on May 10. (Spencer Platt/Images)
Uber lost big in the first quarter following a disappointing IPO earlier this year.
Spencer Platt/Images

Uber’s year is off to a rocky start, with the company’s first quarter earnings revealing significant losses.

The popular ride-hailing company said it lost $1.01 billion in the first three months of 2019, CNN Business reported. Uber announced their first-quarter earnings on Thursday for the first time since going public earlier this month.

The company’s much-anticipated Wall Street debut also fell short of expectations, trading at a $42 share below its IPO price of $45. Ahead of Thursday’s earnings report, Uber stock had dropped closer to the $40 mark a full 11 percent below its IPO price before ticking up four percent in after-hours trading later that day.

Uber’s $1 billion loss comes in contrast to the company’s rare $3.75 billion profit in the same period of time last year. The company owed last year’s profit in large part to the decision to cede two of its operations to overseas rivals, as CNN reported. This year, Uber’s ride-sharing revenue grew just nine percent from the previous year, falling short of the rate investors may expect of a newly public tech company. Uber saw greater growth in other segments, however. According to CNN, meal-delivery service Uber Eats nearly doubled in revenue.

“While I’m proud of what we achieved with our IPO, I’ve told our team that it’s ultimately just one moment in a much longer journey,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said on a conference call with analysts Thursday.

Meanwhile, Uber isn’t the only ride-sharing company struggling to win over Wall Street. The company’s chief US rival, Lyft, saw similar first-quarter losses, reportedly losing $1.14 billion in the first three months of the year. Both companies’ first-quarter earning reports signal industry-wide profitability challenges ahead for ride-hailing businesses trying to win over increasingly hesitant investors.

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