Lyft stock sinks as forecast estimates fall short; New CEO takes aim at Uber

Lyft Inc. It reported first-quarter results that beat expectations on Thursday, but a forecast that fell shy of analysts’ estimates weighed on the company’s shares.

Elevator shares


It fell more than 12% in early hours and fell further after the company’s earnings call with analysts, down more than 14% as of 5:30 p.m. Eastern. They fell 1.8% in the regular session to close at $10.69 after a six-day positive streak.

Lyft forecast second-quarter revenue of $1 billion to $1.02 billion, and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or Ebitda, of $20 million to $30 million. Analysts had expected revenue of $1.08 billion and Ebitda of $51 million.

Lyft’s new chief executive said in an interview with MarketWatch that he’s looking forward to — and “excited” about — gaining market share in rides. CEO David Risher cited third-party data showing Lyft’s marginal gains against its biggest rival, Uber Technologies Inc.


In the first quarter.

According to YipitData’s numbers, Lyft’s US ride-hailing market share rose from 27% in February to 30% in mid-April, while Uber’s market share fell from 73% to 70%.

“Riders choose Lyft, and when riders choose Lyft, drivers choose Lyft,” Risher said. “In places like Portland and Phoenix, we work with Uber.”

Risher also talked about how his company is going to compete with Uber: Lyft drivers only offer rides, not deliveries, which could make the vehicles smell like food to passengers. The company is doubling down on this message by launching a campaign titled “Shoulda Taken a Lift” featuring TikTok influencer Delaney Rowe.

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The company’s new CEO, a board member, has been at the helm for three weeks after Lyft co-founder and CEO Logan Green and co-founder and chairman John Zimmer were ousted from running the company in late March. Both co-founders remain on the board, and Greene said Thursday will be their last earnings call. Green said “Lyft is our life’s work” and said he and Zimmer look forward to continuing to work on the team.

On the call, analysts repeatedly asked Risher what was next. Risher cited the cost-cutting measures he announced shortly after becoming CEO, such as the layoffs, as examples of his understanding of urgency and progress in business.

Chief Financial Officer Elaine Paul called the company looking to use those cost savings towards higher growth.

“Over time, our economy will improve, with higher ridership volumes and higher margin opportunities,” Paul said.

Risher said he has more to share about the new product in the future, and expressed hope that the number of travelers could increase as more companies invite their employees back to the office.

Analysts also asked how Lyft could differentiate itself from Uber. Risher said Lyft competes on price and driver brand awareness, adding that “we’ve been quiet for a long time.”

“When we do well, the distribution moves faster,” he added. “Riders can vote through their app.”

See: The new Lyft CEO tells MarketWatch: ‘I don’t think it’s just an Uber battle. It’s a fight against staying at home.’

Lyft said it had 19.55 million riders in the first quarter, beating the 19.6 million analysts expected. Earnings for Active Rider came in at $51.17, beating analysts’ expectations of $50.40.

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The company reported a first-quarter loss of $187.6 million, or 50 cents per share, which was lower than its loss of $196.9 million, or 53 cents per share. Adjusted for stock-based compensation, payroll taxes and more, net income was $27.7 million, or 7 cents per share. Revenue rose to $1 billion from $875.6 million in the year-ago quarter.

Analysts polled by FactSet had forecast an adjusted loss of 10 cents a share on revenue of $981.7 million.

The company also reported Ebitda of $22.7 million, compared to analysts of $14 million.

Ebitda is an adjusted number, not profit, but some companies strip out extras and use the metric to show investors their progress toward profitability.

Lyft shares have fallen 4% so far this year, while the S&P 500 index has


Up about 6% year to date.

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