Lyft shares rise as company reports high number of active passengers in second quarter

Just days after rival Uber reported record revenue, sending the stock soaring, Lyft also gave investors reason for optimism on Thursday.

The ride-sharing giant reported second-quarter earnings after the market closed, and active riders appear to be on the rebound.

The 19,860,000 active runners the company recorded in the second quarter represented a 15.9% increase from the second quarter of 2021, signaling a potential rebound from its pandemic slump.

Shares of Lyft (NASDAQ: LYFT) jumped nearly 4% in post-market trading Thursday.

“Our second quarter performance demonstrates our continued ability to navigate uncertain operating environments and deliver strong results,” Lyft CEO Logan Green told investors during the company’s earnings call.

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Lyft narrowly beat analysts’ estimates of $989.1 million in revenue, reporting $990.7 million. This represents a year-over-year (y/y) increase of 30% and a quarter-over-quarter (q/q) increase of 13%. However, the company also sharply missed analysts’ estimates of a loss of 4 cents per share, losing $1.08 per share for the quarter.

The company suffered a net loss of $377.2 million in the second quarter, well above the $196.9 million lost the previous quarter. It’s also an increase from its net loss of $251.9 million in the same quarter last year. Lyft said second-quarter losses included $179.1 million in stock-based compensation and related payroll taxes.

But investors were not fazed. Indeed, Lyft had 19,860,000 active passengers on its platform in the second quarter, an all-time high and a significant improvement from the 17,142,000 it had in the same period a year earlier. Active drivers, active drivers and total trips have all reached pandemic highs.

Additionally, Lyft set an all-time high for adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of $79.1 million, just above its quarterly guidance. That’s more than triple what it posted in the first quarter. The ride-hailing powerhouse is targeting adjusted EBITDA of $1 billion by 2024, Green said during the company’s earnings call.

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“Our adjusted EBITDA outperformance in the second quarter reflects the quick and decisive actions we took in the quarter to drive incremental growth and earnings,” Chief Financial Officer Elaine Paul said in prepared remarks. “We are confident in our ability to continue to navigate macroeconomic headwinds and deliver strong long-term business results.”

Last month, Lyft made headlines when it cut its global workforce by 2% and shut down its in-house car rental program, which operated in five locations. In March, it followed Uber in adding fuel surcharges to help drivers cope with soaring gas prices. Investors saw the move as a harbinger that driver volume could decline amid inflationary pressures.

Lyft expects third-quarter 2022 revenue to be between $1.04 billion and $1.06 billion. Insurance costs could prove to be a headwind for the company, Paul noted during the second-quarter earnings call. But the company expects stable or continued growth in active passenger numbers to offset any costs.

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Earnest L. Veasey