Apps & Software

Lyft vs Uber: Two Roads to the Same Destination

After ride-sharing firm Lyft Inc. (NASDAQ: LYFT) reported earnings Tuesday afternoon, seven analysts weighed in on the company’s performance and outlook. So far Thursday morning, six brokerages had had something to say about Uber Technologies Inc. (NYSE: UBER), which reported results after markets closed Wednesday.

What is interesting about the reactions is no brokerages changed their rating, while many lowered their price targets. In the case of ride-sharers like Lyft and Uber, the lack of change in ratings could indicate that analysts expect both companies to perform well for different reasons.

To recap Lyft’s earnings for the fourth quarter: earnings per share (EPS) of $0.10 beat the consensus estimate by a penny, and revenue of nearly $970 million was 70% higher than in the fourth quarter of last year. Even though Lyft guided current-quarter revenue below the consensus estimate, shares added 6.8% in Wednesday’s trading session and traded up another 1.4% late Thursday morning.

Uber posted a big profit beat last night (EPS of $0.44, vs. a consensus estimate calling for a loss of $0.33 per share) while exceeding year-ago quarterly revenue by nearly 83%. Uber also provided lower-than-expected guidance, and the stock traded up nearly 4% Thursday morning.

The year-over-year revenue increases are especially noteworthy. For Lyft, active riders totaled 18.7 million, up 49% year over year, with new riders up 42%. Monthly active platform consumers totaled 118 million, up 27% year over year, and the number of trips taken increased by 23% to 1.8 billion.

Instead of hauling a lot more people around, Uber hauled more stuff. Its delivery segment generated positive adjusted EBITDA for the first time. Delivery gross bookings totaled $13.4 billion (slightly more than half of $25.9 billion in total bookings) with growth of 34% on top of 130% growth in the year-ago quarter. As the impact of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 decreases, Uber’s ridership is picking up again, with January’s total up 25% over December’s.

Here’s how several analysts reacted to Lyft’s earnings.

BTIG Research reiterated its Buy rating on the stock and raised the price target from $65 to $75. Noting the lower guidance, the analyst said that there could be some “pushback around the magnitude of Q1 downside, but we don’t see anything thesis-changing here.”

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