Uber reports $3B in Q4 revenue, rising operating losses

Ahead of its anticipated initial public offering this year, Uber reported a net loss of $865 million in the fourth quarter. That figure, however, was aided by a tax benefit that saved the company from reporting a $1.2 billion net loss in the period. On an adjusted, pro-forma basis, Uber’s net loss in the final quarter of 2018 was a slimmer $768 million.

The figures are an improvement of sorts. The firm reported a pro-forma net loss of $939 million in the preceding, third quarter of 2018, but also reported a smaller pre-tax net loss of $971 million. Regardless, Uber’s stiff losses continued in the quarter.

Meanwhile, Uber’s adjusted EBIDTA losses came in at $842 million, an increase of 88 percent year over year, and an increase of 60 percent from the third quarter. In that preceding quarter, Uber’s adjusted EBIDTA losses came in at $527 million. These increased losses can be attributed to increased competition and significant investment in bigger bets like micromobility and Elevate, for example.

In Q4 2018, Gross bookings (the amount collected before it pays drivers) went up 11 percent quarter over quarter, to $14.2 billion, while revenue increased 2 percent quarter over quarter to $3 billion.

Year over year, Uber’s gross bookings increased 37 percent and revenue increased 24 percent. But as a percentage of gross bookings, revenue declined to 21.3 percent. These numbers exclude the impact of SEA and Russia.

  • GAAP Revenue: $3.0 billion
  • Up 24 percent YOY
  • Up 2 percent QOQ
  • Revenue as a percentage of gross bookings declined 190 basis points to 21.3 percent

Compared to the entire fiscal year of 2017, Uber’s gross bookings increased 45 percent, to $50 billion in 2018. That resulted in a GAAP revenue increase of 43 percent, from 2017 to $11.3 billion. Losses also improved (decreased) from $2.2 billion in adjusted EBITDA losses in 2017 to $1.8 billion in 2018. That’s still a lot of money, but it does show overall positive signs that Uber is moving in the right direction.

“Last year was our strongest yet, and Q4 set another record for engagement on our platform,” Uber CFO Nelson Chai said in a statement. “In 2018, our ridesharing business maintained category leadership in all regions we serve, Uber Freight gained exciting traction in the US, JUMP e-bikes and e-scooters are on the road in over a dozen cities, and we believe Uber Eats became the largest online food delivery business outside of China, based on gross bookings.”

Other key stats for Uber’s Q4 2018:

  • Gross cash: $6.4 billion in unrestricted cash($4.8 billion at end of Q3 2018, $4.4 billon in Q4 2017)
  • Adjusted EBITDA margin: -5.9 percent of gross bookings (Q3 2018 was -4.1 percent)