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Uber's record losses in the first quarter

6 May 2021
2 min.
Uber's record losses in the first quarter

Business growth at risk

Uber has reported record-low losses for the first quarter of 2021, thanks to the sale of its unmanned car division. However, Uber shares have fallen as investors see headwinds to profitability this year.

Uber (UBER) shares fell 4.75% after the close of trading on Wednesday amid the company's first-quarter financial report.

While the macro environment for Uber and other taxi and delivery services is improving amid a massive COVID-19 vaccination, as economies and the travel industry in particular recover, a number of challenges have emerged to threaten their profits.

First quarter 2021

Uber reported a record low loss of -$0.06 per share for the first quarter of this year, well below analysts' expectations of a -$0.54 loss per share, and below last quarter's -$0.54 and the figure for the same quarter in 2020 of -$1.7.

Uber's net loss for the quarter fell to $108m, compared to a loss of $968m in the previous quarter. This was mainly due to a gain on the sale of Uber Advanced Technologies Group's (ATG) drone division to Aurora.

Uber's total revenues for the first quarter fell 18% year-on-year and 10% from the fourth quarter of 2020 to $2.9bn, falling short of Wall Street's average forecast of $3.29bn.

Travel demand recovered partially in the first quarter, but gross bookings are still 38% lower year-on-year.

The number of monthly active Uber service users fell 5% to 98 million in the first quarter, below Wall Street's estimate of 100 million.

Sales of Uber's delivery service, which includes both medication and grocery deliveries, Uber Eats, more than tripled from a year ago and rose 28% from the previous quarter to $1.7 billion.

Uber shares are up 82% over the past 12 months, but less than 1% since the start of 2021.

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