Uber shares drop 4% after it loses more money than expected in Q2

Today after the bell, American ride-hailing giant Uber released its second-quarter results.

The company’s revenue fell compared to both the year-ago quarter (Q2 2019), and the sequentially preceding period (Q1 2020). Investors had anticipated Uber’s declines due to COVID-19, and the company had spent time earlier this year assuring the investing public that it had enough cash to get through 2020 no matter what.

In the second quarter, Uber saw gross bookings of $10.2 billion, off 35% compared to the year-ago period. This resulted in revenue of $2.24 billion, down 29% from a year-ago result of $3.17 billion. Uber’s net loss was $1.78 billion in the second quarter of 2020, down from a year-ago net loss of $5.24 billion. The company went public last year, resulting in various one-time, non-cash costs.

The company’s net loss worked out to a loss of $1.02 per share, ahead of an analyst-expected $0.86 per-share deficit. Uber missed on profitability in the quarter, but did surpass street expectations on top line, posting more revenue than the $2.18 billion figure investors expected.

Shares of Uber are off a little more than 4% in after-hours trading, following its earnings report.

A Q1 retrospective

Let’s take a look at how the financials stack up compared to the first quarter of 2020. In short: Not well.

Uber reported a Q1 per-share loss of $1.70 on revenues of $3.54 billion. The company lost $2.94 billion in the first quarter counting all costs. As noted above, Uber’s per-share loss in the second quarter fell to $1.02, while its revenue slipped to $2.24 billion; Uber’s top line therefore dipped 36.7% compared to the first quarter.

Digging deeper, Uber generated $737 million in ride-hailing trips in the second quarter, compared to $1.66 billion in the first three-month period of this year. Gross bookings were also down more than 35% from $15.78 billion in the first quarter compared to the second.

There was some rosier news buried in this blizzard of numbers. Uber’s Freight and Eats (which is now called Delivery) businesses lost money, although those losses narrowed from Q1 to Q2.

Uber reported that adjusted EBITDA on its “delivery” segment narrowed to a $232 million loss in the second quarter compared to a larger $313 million loss in the first period of the year. Uber Freight’s adjusted EBITDA was a $49 million loss in Q2, smaller than the $64 million loss reported in Q1.

A changing business

Uber’s quarter was a period of change. Compared to the year-ago quarter, the company’s Delivery business (formerly its Uber Eats segment) saw its adjusted net revenue soar 162% compared to the year-ago quarter. At the same time, its larger Mobility segment (previously its Rides business) saw its adjusted net revenue fall 66% compared to Q2 2019.

Uber’s ride-hailing business fell sharply as folks stayed home, while those same folks ordered lots more food. The bookings mix-shift to food delivery did help Uber staunch ride-hailing losses, but not completely.

Ride-hailing, once a key driver of profitability at the company, only generated $50 million in adjusted EBITDA in Q2, a heavily amended profit metric. That figure was off by $465 million compared to the year-ago period, and off $531 million compared to Q1 2020.

“Our mobility recovery is clearly dependent on the public health situation in any given area,” CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said during the Q2 earnings call. “Asia and India is in the recovery. We’ve seen gross bookings in Hong Kong and New Zealand at times exceed pre-COVID highs and European trends have also been encouraging.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. recovery is lagging. The company’s global geographic footprint remains a huge advantage, Khosrowshahi noted. He added that once cities do reopen, trips bounce back sharply.

While ride-hailing lost ground, the rising revenue footprint of Uber’s Delivery business posted slimmer losses than in the year-ago and sequentially preceding quarter. With an adjusted EBITDA loss of $232 million in Q2 2020, the company shaved off more than $50 million in losses compared to its year-ago adjusted EBITDA loss of $286 million; in Q1 2020, Delivery posted adjusted losses of $313 million.

Naturally those declines are largely outside of Uber’s control, but they do show the sharp impact that the global pandemic and ensuing shuttering of many economies had on the 2019 IPO.

Uber closed the period with cash (cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments) of $7.8 billion. That figure was $9.0 billion at the end of its first quarter.