Lyft Inc. saw active riders, drivers and rides reach a COVID-19 pandemic high in the second quarter, but like the previous quarter, the numbers fell just short of meeting Wall Street’s expectations for activity on the platform. “We feel great about what we did this quarter,” Lyft
co-founder and President John Zimmer said in an interview with MarketWatch. “We generated our highest adjusted Ebitda, added more than 2 million riders and saw a recovery in the driver side.”
Zimmer also said the company has seen a pandemic-related recovery across the board in the areas it operates, with the West Coast, which had been the laggard, improving. He said travel has come back strong, with airport rides reaching a record high of 10.2% of all rides. Lyft shares rose about 9% after hours, after increasing 4% in the regular session to close at $17.39 to extend their positive streak to four days. They have fallen almost 60% year to date, but have risen six of the past seven days. The ride-hailing company said it had 19.86 million riders, compared with 17.14 million riders in the same period a year ago. Analysts expected 19.9 million riders. Revenue per rider was $49.89, above analysts’ estimate of $49.30. Lyft reported a second-quarter loss of $377.2 million, or $1.08 a share, compared with a loss of $251.9 million, or 76 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted for stock-based compensation and related costs, earnings were 13 cents a share. Revenue increased to $990.7 million from $765 million in the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast an adjusted loss of 4 cents a share on revenue of $989 million. Adjusted Ebitda was $79.1 million, a record high that Zimmer attributed to the company’s actions to limit costs, primarily by “dramatically slowing hiring.” That represented a 232% increase year over year and was nearly four times analysts’ expectation of $20 million, which they revised after Lyft guided for a range of $10 million to $20 million last quarter. For Lyft, Ebitda, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, excludes additional items such as interest expenses and insurance-liability costs. On the earnings call, Chief Financial Officer Elaine Paul said the company expects third-quarter revenue of $1.04 billion to $1.06 billion, just shy of analysts’ forecast of $1.1 billion in revenue. She also said she expects adjusted Ebitda of $55 million to $65 million. Analysts expect adjusted Ebitda of $61 million, and earnings of 8 cents a share. The company also announced that it is targeting adjusted Ebitda of $1 billion in 2024, with Chief Executive Logan Green saying a mix of ride-hailing market growth, pricing, revenue management and the company’s efficiency efforts will be key.