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Uber posts big loss as pandemic clobbers ridesharing

·1-min read
Uber delivered a hefty loss in the fourth quarter as the pandemic hit its ride-sharing operations, even as it saw spectacular growth in food delivery

Uber on Wednesday reported another hefty loss in the final three months of 2020, as the smartphone-summoned ride business struggled during the pandemic.

The loss of $968 million was narrowed slightly from $1.1 billion in the same period a year earlier, according to Uber, which saw a surge in its food delivery operations to partly offset the decline in ridesharing.

Revenue in the quarter was $3.2 billion, a 16 percent decrease from the same period a year earlier.

"While 2020 certainly tested our resilience, it also dramatically accelerated our capabilities in local commerce," Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi said.

Uber said its "mobility" segment in the quarter including ride-hailing was down 52 percent from a year earlier while its delivery operations -- including its Uber Eats meal service -- saw a revenue jump of 224 percent.

Chief financial officer Nelson Chai said the improving financials suggest Uber is "well on track to achieving our profitability goals in 2021."

Daniel Ives at Wedbush Securities said the results represent "another major step in the right direction" and suggest an improving picture as Uber emerges from the pandemic.

"The company is clearly seeing a rebound in ridesharing metrics and coupled with a leaner expense structure is setting a stage for snapback in growth and profitability heading towards the end of 2021 and into 2022," Ives said in a research note.

Uber shares dipped 1.7 percent in after-hours trade following the results.