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Lyft shares rise as firm reports strong Q2 active rider numbers

Adjusted profit for ride-hailing giant also reaches record high

Lyft stock popped Thursday as more active riders returned to the platform (Photo: Lyft)

Just a few days after rival Uber reported record revenue, causing the stock to pop, Lyft on Thursday also gave investors reason for optimism.

The ride-hailing giant reported earnings for the second quarter after market close, and active riders appear to be on the rebound.

The 19,860,000 active riders the company recorded in Q2 represented a 15.9% increase from Q2 2021, signaling a potential rebound from its pandemic doldrums.

Shares of Lyft (NASDAQ: LYFT) jumped nearly 4% in post market trading on Thursday.

“Our Q2 performance demonstrates our continued ability to navigate uncertain operating environments and deliver solid results,” Lyft CEO Logan Green told investors on the company’s earnings call.

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Lyft narrowly topped analyst estimates of $989.1 million in revenue, reporting $990.7 million. That marks a year-over-year (y/y) increase of 30% and a quarter-over-quarter (q/q) rise of 13%. However, the company also missed sharply on analyst estimates of a loss of 4 cents per share, losing $1.08 per share for the quarter.

The firm suffered a net loss of $377.2 million in Q2, far greater than the $196.9 million it lost the quarter prior. That’s also an increase from its net loss of $251.9 million in the same quarter last year. Lyft said losses for Q2 include $179.1 million of stock-based compensation and related payroll tax expenses.

But investors weren’t fazed. That’s because Lyft boasted 19,860,000 active riders on its platform in Q2, an all-time high and a significant improvement over the 17,142,000 it had during the same period a year earlier. Active riders, active drivers and total rides all hit pandemic highs.

Additionally, Lyft set an all-time high for adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $79.1 million, right at the top end of its quarterly guidance. That’s more than triple what it posted in Q1. The ride-sharing powerhouse is targeting adjusted EBITDA of $1 billion by 2024, Green said on the company’s earnings call.

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“Our Q2 adjusted EBITDA outperformance reflects the swift and decisive actions we took during the quarter to drive additional growth and profits,” CFO Elaine Paul said in prepared remarks. “We are confident in our ability to continue navigating macroeconomic headwinds and deliver strong long-term business results.”

Last month, Lyft drew headlines when it trimmed its global workforce by 2% and shuttered its in-house car rental program, which was running in five locations. In March, it followed Uber by adding fuel surcharges to help drivers deal with surging gas prices. Investors saw the move as a warning sign that driver volume could be dwindling amid inflationary pressures.

Lyft expects revenue for Q3 2022 to fall between $1.04 billion and 1.06 billion. Insurance costs could prove to be a headwind for the firm, Paul noted on the Q2 earnings call. But the company predicts that stable or continued growth in active riders will offset any costs.

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Jack Daleo

Jack is a staff writer for FreightWaves and Modern Shipper covering topics like last mile delivery and e-commerce fulfillment. He studied at Northwestern University, majoring in journalism with a certificate in integrated marketing communications. Previously, Jack has written for Backpacker Magazine and enjoys travel, the outdoors, and all things basketball.