Uber posts record revenue but loses more money from investments
By Kellen Browning
Uber on Tuesday reported record revenue in its most recent quarter and said more drivers and couriers were using its platform than ever before, suggesting that the company is emerging from a pandemic-fueled downturn in a far better position than it was two years ago. Still, Uber lost nearly $2 billion from its stakes in other ride-hailing services.
The company outperformed analysts’ expectations, shaking off concerns over high inflation to post $8 billion in revenue, a 105% spike from a year earlier, when the world was just emerging from pandemic lockdowns. Growth in Uber’s ride-hailing business drove the increase, although its food delivery arm jumped 37% from a year earlier.
The record 122 million people using Uber each month accounted for a combined 1.8 billion trips in the April-to-June quarter, up 24% from a year earlier.
Uber’s stock rose more than 10% in premarket trading Tuesday.
Uber said it had generated $382 million in free cash flow — its first positive free cash flow in a quarter, meaning it generated more money from its business operations than it lost. That’s a milestone sought by Dara Khosrowshahi, the chief executive, as he tries to guide Uber toward consistently turning a profit. As the tech and business markets have cooled, Khosrowshahi has told his employees to cut costs and focus on profitability.
“I challenged the team to meet our profitability commitments even faster than planned, and the team delivered,” Khosrowshahi wrote in prepared remarks Tuesday.
Uber’s strong results, on the heels of more mixed reports from other tech companies like Amazon and Microsoft, were not without blemishes. The company still lost $2.6 billion, including $1.7 billion from its investments in other ride-hailing businesses like Aurora, Grab and Zomato.
But the company pointed to other positive signs. Although Uber has had to contend with high gas prices and is entangled in a variety of legal disputes across the United States over the employment status of its drivers, it now has nearly 5 million drivers around the world, a record number and a 31% increase from a year earlier.
On Friday, Uber said it would begin allowing drivers to see their destination and earnings for a trip before accepting a passenger, a change that the company said was aimed at giving its drivers more flexibility and support. The new program, Upfront Pricing, has been tested in about 20 U.S. markets this year and will be rolled out to most of the country, except California and some other markets, in the coming months, said Alix Anfang, an Uber spokesperson.