Lyft trumps revenue estimates as it attracts more riders

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(Reuters) – Ride-hailing company Lyft Inc (O:) blew past Wall Street estimates for third-quarter revenue on Wednesday, as promotions attracted more active users who also spent more per ride.

Shares of Lyft were up 6% in after-market trading.

The company also estimated current-quarter revenue well ahead of expectations and raised its 2019 forecast.

Lyft has partnered with several companies as it battles larger rival Uber Technologies Inc (N:) for a bigger share of the ride-hailing market. Uber’s shares were up nearly 1%.

The company has partnered with Delta Airlines Inc (N:), Airbnb and Slack Technologies Inc (N:) among others, according to Lyft’s website.

Lyft said it expects revenue in the range of $975 million and $985 million for the fourth quarter. Analysts on average were expecting revenue of $942.6 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The company on average got $42.82 in revenue from each of its 22.3 million active riders in its third quarter as a public company, an about 27% jump in revenue per rider and a 28% increase in riders over the same period in 2018.

Lyft rider numbers grow post-IPO:

Loss-making Lyft and Uber have historically relied on heavy subsidies to attract riders. While the companies have said there are signs that price competition was easing, both are also spending to expand into other areas.

Lyft is now expected to be profitable on an adjusted EBITDA basis in the fourth quarter of 2021, Chief Executive Officer Logan Green said.

The company had earlier promised that its ride-hailing services would be profitable without giving any timeline. But it had also warned that as a company it might continue posting losses as it invests heavily in self-driving cars, renting scooters and other ventures.

Lyft expects fourth-quarter adjusted core losses to be between $160 million and $170 million, compared with its prior forecast of between $240 million and $245 million.

Revenue surged about 63% to $955.6 million in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, beating the average analyst estimate of $915.04 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Net loss widened to $463.5 million from $249.2 million a year earlier, with costs rising nearly 70%.

The company had a loss of $1.57 per share compared with a loss of $11.58 per share in the third quarter of 2018, as the number of outstanding shares rose from a year earlier.

Lyft loss before and after its March IPO:

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