Lyft earnings show slight recovery in ride-sharing

Lyft President John Zimmer (L) and CEO Logan Green during an interview at an IPO event in Los Angeles March 29, 2019.

Michael Luciano | CNBC

Lyft shares rose slightly as the company reported third-quarter earnings after the bell on Tuesday, following a massive rally on Monday.

Here’s how Lyft did versus comparable Wall Street expectations for the period ending September 30, 2020:

  • Loss per share (adjusted): $1.46
  • Revenue: $499.7 million, vs. $486.6 million expected per Refinitiv.
  • Active riders: 12.5 million
  • Revenue per active rider: $39.94

The company reported a net loss of $460 million for the quarter, nearly unchanged from the $463 million it lost a year ago. However, the company’s revenue and ridership increased significantly from last quarter’s results of $339 million and 8.7 million riders, suggesting a notable recovery in ride-sharing during the quarter, although both figures are still way down from a year ago.

Lyft shares soared by about 26% on Monday on positive news about a potential coronavirus vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech, but lost about 4% of that gain before close on Tuesday.

Lyft shares have also risen thanks to a ballot measure that passed in California authorizing transportation and delivery apps to keep treating drivers and delivery workers as independent contractors, not full-time employees. Companies including Lyft, Uber, DoorDash, Instacart and others spent $205 million to get their ballot measure, Prop 22, approved by voters.

Lyft has not fared as well as its chief competitor Uber amid the pandemic in the United States. That’s because Lyft never built the food and grocery delivery business that has helped Uber replace revenue lost from decreased travel, commuting and recreation, with deliveries to people who were ordered to or opted to stay home.

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