Uber earnings clear Wall Street’s bar, but stock cools after big rally



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Uber Technologies Inc. faced a case of high expectations heading into Wednesday’s earnings report, and its stock was headed lower premarket even as the ride-hailing giant cleared Wall Street’s bar.

Uber’s
UBER,
+2.15%
fourth-quarter revenue rose to $9.9 billion from $8.6 billion, while the FactSet consensus was for $9.8 billion. The company logged a 22% rise in gross bookings to reach $37.6 billion, while analysts had been looking for $37.1 billion.

“Uber’s platform advantages and disciplined investment in new growth opportunities resulted in record engagement and accelerating gross bookings” in the fourth quarter, Chief Financial Officer Prashanth Mahendra-Rajah said in a release.

The company recorded a sizable beat on the bottom line, delivering fourth-quarter net income of $1.4 billion, or 66 cents a share, compared with $595 million, or 29 cents a share, in the year-before period. The FactSet consensus was for 16 cents a share in earnings.

Looking to the first quarter, Uber is anticipating $37.0 billion to $38.5 billion in gross bookings along with $1.26 billion to $1.34 billion in adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda). The FactSet consensus called for $37.4 billion and $1.26 billion, respectively.

Uber previously teased an upcoming capital-return program, and while the company didn’t offer specifics about it Wednesday, it noted that it would share more at an investor event next week.

Shares of Uber have roughly doubled over the past year, and a Bernstein analyst recently noted that the stock’s setup looked better over the long term than the short term given heightened expectations for the time being.

The stock was off about 1% in Wednesday’s premarket activity.



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