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How Lyft can be an awesome public company

Brian Sozzi

Money-losing Lyft will probably have at least a few quarters before it must financially impress an enamored Wall Street as a public company.

Or so says veteran tech CEO John Chambers, who led Cisco for more than two decades. Important to that call by Chambers is that Lyft stays ahead of the curve and remain focused on its business plans.

“As Jeff Bezos showed with Amazon that as long as you have a good business plan and continue to grow, then you can be slower about the profits early on,” Chambers told Yahoo Finance. “For these companies [Uber and Lyft], as long as they maintain the growth, the differentiation and continue to break away from their peers then I think shareholders will be fine on them.”

A Lyft ride-sharing car is seen on Park Avenue in New York City. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP) (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

Patience on the part of investors will also be crucial because the losses early on will be staggering.

Lyft’s bottom line is nothing to write home about. While Lyft saw sales more than double to $2.2 billion in 2018, it lost about $911 million. The company is widely expected to deliver another staggering loss when it reports first quarter earnings Tuesday after the close of trading.

Lyft’s stock has reflected concerns about its losses. At $60.83, Lyft’s stock remains well below its first trade on its late March IPO day of $88.60. The stock is also trading below the $72 a share it was priced at on the roadshow.

A version of this article was originally published on March 28, 2019.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and co-host of ‘The First Trade’ at Yahoo Finance. Follow Brian Sozzi him on Twitter @BrianSozzi.

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