U.S. Markets open in 4 hrs 6 mins

Uber hemorrhages $5.2B in 2Q amid volatile day for ridehailing

Kevin Dowd

Optimistic investors spent Thursday driving up the price of shares in Uber (NYSE: UBER) in anticipation of the company's 2Q earnings. Once the results arrived, though, it was a very different story.

Uber reported an eye-watering 2Q loss of $5.2 billion on Thursday, part of an earnings report that came almost three months to the day after the ridehailing company went public in a long-awaited IPO that raised $8.1 billion. The report sent the company's stock sliding in after-hours trading, giving up most of its gains from earlier in the day. Uber closed Thursday at $42.97, up more than 8%, but it dipped to below $38 in early after-hours trading before quickly bouncing back to above $40.

That $5.2 billion loss included $3.9 billion in one-time compensation expenses related to the company's IPO, so the damage isn't as severe as it might initially appear. But that leaves about $1.3 billion in other losses, compared to $878 million in total losses for 2Q 2018.

Uber also reported revenue of nearly $3.2 billion, a YoY uptick of 14%. That's reportedly the slowest quarterly growth figure the company has ever publicly disclosed, which is both a testament to how explosive its previous growth has been and a potential warning sign to investors of Uber's ability (or lack thereof) to maintain that steady expansion.

Uber unveiled its 2Q earnings one day after Lyft (NASDAQ: LYFT) did the same. The numbers were a bit more promising for the slightly smaller ridehailing company, with revenue of $867.3 million (up 72% YoY) and a net loss of $644.2 million, compared to $178.9 million during 2Q 2018. Notably, Lyft changed its previous estimates of how much money it will lose for the whole of 2019, revising its projection from nearly $1.18 billion down to $875 million.

The past quarter was Lyft's first full one as a public company, after it conducted an IPO in the final days of March that proved to be the beginning of an unprecedented string of highly valued VC-backed IPOs. Shares of Lyft closed Thursday up 3% in the first full day after its 2Q results, winding up at $62.10 to establish a market cap of about $18 billion.

But neither Uber nor Lyft has been able to maintain the share prices that accompanied their respective IPOs, in contrast to many of the other companies with lofty VC-backed valuations that made their debuts in 2Q. Lyft went public at a price of $72 per share, but it's spent most of the past few months hovering between $50 and $65. Uber debuted at $45 per share, and its stock has mostly stayed around $43 or $44 per share in recent months. It closed Thursday with a market cap of almost $73 billion—a far cry from the $120 billion valuation that had been tossed around late last year as a potential target for Uber's then-upcoming IPO.

Featured image via RiverNorthPhotography/E+/Getty Images

Related read: Uber's layoffs, Lyft's loss & Beyond Meat's nosedive