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Lyft posts revenue beat but falls short on riders

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Lyft CEO Logan Green (C) and President John Zimmer (LEFT C) applaud during the Nasdaq opening bell ceremony celebrating the company’s initial public offering (IPO) on March 29, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Mario Tama | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Lyft reported fourth-quarter results after the bell on Tuesday. It beat estimates on adjusted earnings per share and revenue but said it had fewer active riders than in the prior quarter. Shares were down more than 3% in after hours trading.

Here are the key numbers:

Earnings per share: 9 cents, adjusted, vs 8 cents expected in a Refinitiv survey of analysts
Revenue: $970 million vs $940.1 million expected by Refinitiv
Active riders: 18.73 million vs 20.2 million expected, per StreetAccount
Revenue per active rider: $51.79 vs $46.54 expected, according to StreetAccount

Lyft reported 18.73 million active riders in the last quarter of 2021, up nearly 50% year-over-year but short of StreetAccount analyst expectations of 20.2 million riders for the quarter. It’s a decline from the third quarter when Lyft said it had 18.94 million active riders and not quite back to pre-pandemic levels. Lyft reported 22.9 million active riders in the fourth quarter of 2019, for example.

“Despite short-term headwinds from omicron, we remain optimistic about full-year 2022,” Lyft’s new CFO Elaine Paul said in a statement.

The company didn’t immediately provide guidance for Q1, but is expected to discuss expectations in its earnings call set for 4:30 p.m. ET. In the first quarter of 2022, analysts expect the company to report 21.7 million active riders, according to StreetAccount guidance.

Lyft revenue jumped 12% quarter-over-quarter to $969.9 million. That’s up 70% year-over-year thanks to easy comparables due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It also noted record revenue per active rider of $51.79, which is up 14% year-over-year.

Lyft reported a net loss for the quarter of $258.6 million versus a net loss of $458.2 million in the same period of 2020. The company said its loss included $164.2 million of stock-based compensation and related payroll tax expenses.

Lyft again posted an adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) profit of $74.7 million. In the prior quarter, Lyft reported adjusted EBITDA of $67.3 million.

The company has struggled with driver supply and demand imbalances throughout the pandemic, leading to higher costs or long wait times. Executives are expected to provide an update on driver investments and rates during Lyft’s earnings call.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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