Uber UBER earnings Q1 2020

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Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber, appears on CNBC’s Squawk Box at the 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Jan,. 22nd, 2020.

Adam Galici | CNBC

Ride-hailing giant Uber plans to report first quarter results after the bell today.

According to Refinitiv, analysts are expecting a loss of 88 cents per share and revenue of $3.5 billion. However, estimates range widely, and comparing Uber’s actual results with these isn’t straightforward given the the unpredictable spread and impact of Covid-19.

On Wednesday, Uber said it was laying off 3,700 of its employees and that CEO Dara Khosrowshahi would forgo his base salary of around $1 million, for the rest of 2020. The layoffs impacted Uber’s customer support and recruiting teams, primarily, and represent about 14% of the 26,900 people the company said it employed at the end of 2019. 

In sharp contrast to those cost-cutting measures, on Thursday, Lime announced that Uber was leading a $170 million investment into its electric scooter and bike rental business.

Uber shares were up more than 9% in late-day trading Thursday following better than expected results from Lyft yesterday.

Much like its primary North American competitor Lyft, Uber has been struggling with the impacts of Covid-19 on drivers and riders alike, and now faces a labor lawsuit in the state of California. The suit, which was filed in San Francisco Superior Court this week, alleges that Uber and Lyft have managed to avoid paying for key benefits for their drivers, including paid sick leave, by wrongfully classifying them as contractors rather than employees.

Before the novel coronavirus turned into a global pandemic, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said on the company’s Q4 2019 earnings call that it was poised to hit profitability in Q4 2020, ahead of its original promise of profitability in 2021. Uber also told investors, on that last call, it expected a $1.35 billion loss for 2020 in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA).

However, Covid-19 health orders from authorities around the world soon began to restrict people’s work, recreation and travel more profoundly, and by April 16, Uber withdrew that prior guidance.

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