Ride-hailing companies took a blow when the Coronavirus broke out but found solace in making deliveries. Eventually, the lockdowns eased and these companies were back on the road again but this didn’t mean they had recovered. New variants of the virus broke out and the omicron variant really caused a strain on the operations of these companies.
Ride-hailing titan Uber’s fourth-quarter earnings are out and the results prove that the company is starting to make recovery from the challenges that the omicron variant surge caused. Uber surpassed revenue estimates by analysts and stated that it had started to make a much-anticipated recovery in its business.
The company reported earnings per share of 44 cents for the quarter. Revenue for the quarter was $5.78b billion compared to the expectation of $5.34 billion, according to a Refinitiv survey of analysts.
Uber also reported a net income of $892 million for the quarter. This covers a $1.4 billion net benefit, pretax, related to its equity investments. The company earnings per share of 44 cents is a part of that big investment profit. Without it, Uber posted a loss of 26 cents per share, adjusted, according to Refinitiv. This, however, surpassed Wall Street expectations of 35 cent loss per share.
Uber’s adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) stood at $86 million in the quarter. For mobility, the company recorded gross bookings of $11.3 billion, up 67 percent YoY. Gross bookings for delivery also stood at $13.4 billion and was up 34 percent YoY.
Food delivery has meandered its way to become a major category in the company’s business thanks to the pandemic. Uber, while providing shareholders with growth figures, said that its delivery merchant grew to over 825,000. While its core ride-hailing business recorded a revenue of $2.28 billion, Uber’s delivery wing generated $2.42 billion, outperforming the company’s core business.
“While the Omicron variant began to impact our business in late December, Mobility is already starting to bounce back, with Gross Bookings up 25% month-on-month in the most recent week”, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said. He also added that the company was able to maintain a strong supply of drivers amid their shortage in a pandemic. This, he said, has led to shorter waiting times and fewer surge pricing increases.
In the quarter, Uber reported 1.77 billion trips, up 8 percent from the third quarter and 23 percent from the same period in 2020. Up 8 percent, Monthly active platform consumers stood at 118 million. Uber reported that Drivers and couriers earned an aggregate of $9.5 billion in the quarter.
Airport gross bookings represented 13 percent of Uber’s mobility gross bookings signalling recovery. This category witnessed a 24 percent increase from the third quarter and almost 200 percent from the same period in 2020.
For guidance, the company expects gross bookings of $25 billion to $26 billion. It also projected adjusted EBITDA of $100 million to $130 million. The company’s CEO said the company is looking to add more drivers.
Lyft, Uber’s biggest American rival, also reported its fourth-quarter earnings this week. While it surpassed estimates on revenue, it fell short of active riders expectations saying that the omicron variant of the Coronavirus had an effect on its business.