Lyft stock rises more than 10% after company reports signs of pandemic recovery

Key Points
  • Ride-hailing company Lyft reported fourth-quarter earnings on Tuesday.
  • The company beat Wall Street's expectations on revenue and loss per share.
  • Its stock was up more than 9% in after-hours trading.

In this article

A traveler arriving at Los Angeles International Airport looks for ground transportation during a statewide day of action to demand that ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft follow California law and grant drivers "basic employee rights'' in Los Angeles, California, U.S., August 20, 2020.
Mike Blake | Reuters

Ride-hailing company Lyft reported fourth-quarter earnings on Tuesday, surpassing Wall Street's top- and bottom-line expectations but disappointing when it came to active riders.

The company's stock was up more than 9% in after-hours trading, thanks to a beat on revenue and signs the business is recovering slightly from the pandemic.

Lyft is also still on track to become EBITDA profitable by the fourth quarter, with a chance that could be achieved by the third quarter, CFO Brian Roberts said in the company's earnings call.

Here are the key numbers:

  • Loss per share: 58 cents vs. 72 cents expected in a Refinitiv survey of analysts
  • Revenue: $570 million vs. $563 million expected by Refinitiv
  • Active riders: 12.55 million vs. 13.2 million expected in a FactSet survey
  • Revenue per active rider: $45.40 vs. $42.20 expected per FactSet

The company's revenue and ridership jumped from the prior quarter's results of $499.7 million and 12.51 million riders, suggesting the company is continuing to recover from Covid-19 headwinds. However, it's still considerably down from the same quarter last year. For the full year, Lyft reported revenue of $2.4 billion, compared with $3.6 billion in fiscal year 2019.

The company said demand near the end of the quarter was also negatively impacted by a surge in coronavirus cases and efforts to slow the spread of the virus.

Roberts said in a statement that Lyft expects "a growth inflection beginning in the second quarter that strengthens in the second half of the year."

Lyft reported a net loss of $458.2 million for the quarter, up from a net loss of $356 million in Q4 2019. The company said its fourth-quarter loss includes $138.1 million of stock-based compensation and related payroll tax expenses. The company said its net loss margin for this quarter was 80.4% compared with 35% a year ago.

Its adjusted EBITDA loss for the fourth quarter was $150 million, a $19.3 million increase from a year ago. It's better than the company's most recent forecast for an adjusted EBITDA loss of less than $185 million. The company said its adjusted EBITDA loss margin for the fourth quarter was 26.3% compared with 12.9% a year ago. EBITDA refers to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

Lyft also reported $2.3 billion of unrestricted cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments.

The company has failed to bulk up its additional segments in the same way that its main competitor, Uber, has done in the past year. In an effort to replace revenue lost from the coronavirus pandemic, Uber focused on its food and delivery segment, Uber Eats, and shed some of its travel-related segments.

Lyft has yet to grow a food delivery business. The company said last quarter it's working on expanding delivery and was consulting with restaurants and retailers.

Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube.

Why Josh Brown is adding to his Uber position
Why Josh Brown is adding to his Uber position