Lyft Posts $1.1B Loss for Q1 in First Earnings Report Post-IPO

Xconomy San Francisco — 

Newly public ride-hailing company Lyft (NASDAQ: LYFT) filed its first-quarter earnings results Tuesday, reporting a 95 percent increase in revenue compared with the same period in 2018, but a net loss of nearly $1.14 billion.

That first-quarter loss includes $894 million of stock-based compensation and other expenses triggered by the completion of Lyft’s IPO on April 2. Without those items, the company’s adjusted net loss for the quarter was $211.5 million; the adjusted net loss for the same period in 2018 was $228.4 million.

The earnings report followed a trading day when Lyft’s share price closed below $60—part of a slide from its IPO price of $72. The closing price Tuesday was $59.34, a decrease of more than 17 percent from the price IPO investors paid. In after-hours trading, the shares continued to drop slightly.

Doubts about the profit potential of ride-hailing continue to dog both Lyft and Uber, which is expected to complete its own initial public offering on Friday. The results of that disappointing debut for Lyft may dampen some investors’ enthusiasm for a stake in Uber. In an amended prospectus filed April 26, Uber set an IPO price range of $44 to $50. At the top of that range, Uber would be valued at more than $90 billion.

On the bright side for Lyft, its first quarter revenue reached $776 million, compared with $397.2 million for the first quarter in 2018. The San Francisco company estimated that its revenue for the full year will be as much as $3.3 billion, with an adjusted EBITDA loss between $1.15 billion and $1.175 billion. For the full year 2018, Lyft reported a loss of $911.3 million on revenue of more than $2.1 billion.

The number of active Lyft riders rose to 20.5 million in the first quarter, a 46 percent increase from the 14 million counted by the company in the same period last year. Lyft says its revenue per active rider rose to $776 from $397, year-over-year.

But growth comes at a cost for ride-hailing firms. Lyft’s total expenses, including sales and marketing, rose to $1.9 billion compared with $643 million in the same quarter last year. A significant part of that increase was due to research and development expenses, which reached $631 million in the first quarter, about 10 times more than the $63.2 million spent in the initial quarter of 2018.

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