Lyft lost $1.14B in Q1 2019 on $776M in revenue

In its first-ever earnings report as a public company, Lyft (NASDAQ: LYFT) failed to display progress toward profitability.

The ride-hailing business, which raised $2 billion in a March initial public offering, posted first-quarter revenues of $776 million on losses of $1.14 billion, including $894 million of stock-based compensation and related payroll tax expenses. The company’s earnings surpassed Wall Street estimates of $740 million in revenue on $274.1 million, or $3.77 a share, in losses.

Lyft began rising in after-hours trading as a result.

“The first quarter was a strong start to an important year, our first as a public company,” Lyft co-founder and chief executive officer Logan Green said in a statement.  “Our performance was driven by the increased demand for our network and multi-modal platform, as Active Riders grew 46 percent and revenue grew 95 percent year-over-year. Transportation is one of the largest segments of our economy and we are still in the very early stages of an enormous secular shift from personal car ownership to Transportation-as-a-Service.”

The company said adjusted net losses came in at $211.5 million compared to $228.4 million in the first quarter of 2018. Next quarter, Lyft expects revenue of more than $800 million on adjusted EBITDA losses of between $270 million and $280 million. For the entire year, Lyft projects roughly $3.3 billion in total revenue on EBITDA losses of about $1.2 billion.

Lyft was the first of a cohort of venture-backed ‘unicorns,’ including Pinterest, Zoom and soon, Uber — which will make its long-overdue debut on the New York Stock Exchange later this week — to complete a public offering in 2019. Despite a sizeable IPO pop, Lyft shares have only sunk since its first appearance on the Nasdaq. Lyft hit a share price of $87 on its first day of trading, up from a $74 IPO price. However, in the weeks post-IPO its floated closer to the $60 mark, closing Tuesday down 2 percent at $59.41.

Lyft has never posted a profit and its founders John Zimmer and Green have made it clear they expect to invest in the company’s growth for the next several years as it expands its multimodal offerings and ultimately launches operations overseas.

“The road ahead represents a massive opportunity to serve our communities and drive value for our stockholders, Lyft’s co-founders wrote in the company’s IPO prospectus. “We take this responsibility to serve our communities and stockholders seriously, and we look forward to proving that with actions and results. If we told you we were building the world’s best canal, railroad or highway infrastructure, you’d understand that this would take time. In that same light, the opportunity ahead requires continued long-term thinking, focus and execution.”

This story is updating.

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