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Uber Q2 earnings beat expectations but EBITDA loss steeper than expected

·Technology Editor
·2 min read
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Uber (UBER) reported its Q2 2021 earnings after the closing bell on Wednesday, beating analyst expectations on gross bookings. The company, however, saw steeper adjusted EBITDA losses than expected coming in at $509 million versus forecasts of $324.5 million.

Here are the most important numbers from the report compared to what Wall Street was expecting of the ride-sharing giant..

  • Gross bookings: $21.9 billion versus $20.93 billion expected.

  • Mobility bookings: $8.6 billion versus $8.3 billion expected.

  • Delivery bookings: $12.9 billion versus $12.35 billion expected.

  • Earnings per share: $0.58 versus -$0.52 expected.

Uber's stock was off more than 6% following the announcement. 

Uber has been investing heavily in its freight business and delivery businesses, spending $2.25 billion on logistics company Transplace in July, expanding its delivery services to 1,200 Albertsons stores. The moves are meant to help Uber fight the drop in ridership throughout the pandemic, and has added a slight buffer to its bottom line.

Still, Uber’s bread and butter ride-sharing business could run into further trouble if the Delta variant of the coronavirus makes users wary of traveling again.

“While Mobility continues to improve with the pandemic wanning, there are some potential headwinds from the Delta variant,” Wedbush’s Dan Ives wrote in an analyst note.

Ride-sharing companies like Uber are also facing a driver shortage as more people head back into the world. Too few drivers means fares are higher than normal, which can mean the difference between someone choosing to take an Uber or a yellow cab.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi addressed the driver shortage in a statement saying, “In Q2 we invested in recovery by investing in drivers and we made strong progress, with monthly active drivers and couriers in the US increasing by nearly 420,000 from February to July."

Uber is also staring down potential headwinds from driver advocacy groups like Rideshare Drivers United, who held a 24-hour strike to support improved wages for workers. The group says that California’s Prop. 22, which allows gig economy companies to classify their workers as independent contractors, has hurt drivers’ wages.

Uber rival Lyft reported its earnings on Tuesday, showing improvements to its ride-sharing service and beating analysts’ expectations on the top and bottom line. The company also reported an adjusted EBITDA profit for the quarter.

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