Uber Reports Its First-Ever Operating Profit

But its net loss for the quarter was $2.4B
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 5, 2021 8:48 AM CDT
Uber Reports Its First-Ever Operating Profit
The logo for Uber appears above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Uber is still a very long way from being a truly profitable company, but by one metric, it has just managed to turn its first operating profit after a decade of heavy losses. The company reported an adjusted EBITDA—earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization—of $8 million for the third quarter of 2021 Thursday, though its net loss was $2.4 billion after a huge drop in the value of its stake in Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi, reports Reuters. By the EBITDA metric, it lost $625 million in the same quarter last year. It forecast an EBITDA of $25 million to $75 million in the fourth quarter on gross bookings of around $25 billion. Rival Lyft reported an adjusted profit of $67 million earlier this week.

"Normally we’d mock a company of Uber’s scale and age for still forecasting with kids-table metrics like adjusted EBITDA," writes Alex Wilhelm at TechCrunch, "but as Uber has long promised investors that it would claw its way to the modified profit threshold this year, the guidance is worth noting." Uber said Thursday that revenue was up 72% year over year, with ride bookings over Halloween weekend higher than 2019 levels, the AP reports. It said that after spending heavily on driver recruitment, bookings by riders were up 67% year on year, while delivery bookings including Uber Eats, which now account for a bigger share of gross bookings than the ride-hailing business, were up 50%, per CNBC. (Read more Uber stories.)

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