Uber ended 2021 with strong revenue growth and better adjusted profitability

Today after the bell, Uber reported its fourth quarter financial performance. The company reported gross platform spend of $25.9 billion, up 51% from its year-ago result, and revenue of $5.78 billion, up 83 % from the fourth quarter of 2020. The company also reported GAAP net income of $0.44 per share, although this number included non-operating items related to investments.

Analysts had expected the company to post a loss per share of $0.35 against revenue of $5.34 billion, according to estimates. shared by Yahoo Finance. Shares of the US company rose just under 6% immediately after its earnings release.

On a per-segment basis, here is how Uber’s major business units performed in terms of revenue:

Picture credits: Uber

The company’s diversification is in full force in the numbers above, with ridesharing showing the slowest growth in Uber’s base unit results, even losing the revenue crown to delivery. However, when it comes to generating heavily adjusted EBITDA, things are quite different:

Picture credits: Uber

Here we can see that Uber’s ride-sharing business remains quite supreme when it comes to creating margin for the company’s business operations to charge. In contrast, operations focused on delivery and freight effectively canceled out during the quarter. Still, for Uber, posting positive adjusted EBITDA is a helpful indication that its business has become something less awash in red ink than it once was, helped in large part by delivery work. of the company which made its results pass in the green.

Yesterday, Uber rival Lyft reported another quarter of adjusted profitability and fourth-quarter revenue that beat expectations. Shares of Uber and Lyft were higher in regular trading.

While the news above is generally positive, by more traditional metrics Uber remains unprofitable. For example, in the fourth quarter of 2021, the company’s operating profit was -550 million dollars. However, $1.47 billion in “other” income more than made up for this shortfall. What was this other income? According to the company, the item was “primarily due to cumulative unrealized gains related to the revaluation of Uber’s Grab and Aurora stock investments, partially offset by an unrealized loss related to the revaluation of Didi’s stock investment. Uber”.

While welcome, these gains will not persist on a quarterly basis, implying that Uber’s business, once all expenses are factored into its operating results, remains unprofitable. Although less than before. A good way to look at the situation is the operating cash burn per year. In 2020, Uber’s operations consumed $2.75 billion; in 2021, the company’s operating cash flow was well below -$445 million.


Looking ahead, Uber expects to generate gross bookings of “$25-26 billion” in the first quarter of 2022 and adjusted EBITDA of “$100-130 million.” Gross bookings (gross platform spend) flat to slightly negative compared to Q4 2021 results, while Adjusted EBITDA figure is a slight improvement from its Q4 result of $86 million trimester.

Of course, more to come after the results call, but this is your first look!