Uber said on Wednesday that growing revenues and returning passengers sent a strong signal that its operations were recovering in the final three months of 2021 from the slowdown caused by the pandemic.
The quarter also provided another indication of how Uber’s fortunes rise and fall with its investments in other companies.
Uber’s revenue grew to $5.8 billion, up 83 percent from a year earlier and surpassing analyst expectations. The company also marked its second profitable quarter as a publicly traded company, earning $892 million largely from its investments in Grab, the Southeast Asian ride-hailing company that went public in December, and Aurora, the autonomous startup startup. vehicles.
Uber lost $968 million in the same period a year earlier and reported a $2.4 billion loss in the third quarter of 2021, driven by its investment in China’s taxi company Didi.
Its investments in other ride-hailing companies would likely continue to cause fluctuations in its profits and losses, Uber said in its earnings report. Uber’s chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, said at an analyst event in December that the company would hold on to some of its strategic investments, but eventually seek to sell its stake in Didi.
Uber’s operating loss for the quarter was $550 million, a 37 percent improvement from a year earlier.
Uber said it attracted a growing number of users by relying on its food delivery company, Uber Eats, to bring in business during spikes in coronavirus cases when its ride-hailing service declined. Uber reported 118 million users in the fourth quarter, up 27 percent from a year earlier.
“Our results show how far we have come since the start of the pandemic,” Khosrowshahi said in a statement. “While the Omicron variant started impacting our business in late December, mobility is already starting to make a comeback.”
Uber’s stock price rose about 5 percent in after-hours trading on Wednesday.
The growth in the number of users distinguishes Uber from its main rival in the United States, Lyft. In an earnings report on Tuesday, Lyft said it had 18,728 users in the fourth quarter, up 49 percent from a year earlier, but a slight decline from the third quarter. The modest decline in user numbers showed that Omicron’s winter wave would have created more challenges for Lyft’s operations.
Still, Lyft said revenue had grown 70 percent to $969.9 million, and losses had improved to $258.6 million, a 43 percent change from a year earlier.
Analysts said Uber and Lyft operations will most likely continue to fluctuate as travel was impacted by the pandemic.
“It’s ebb and flow,” said Tom White, a senior research analyst at the financial firm DA Davidson. While Lyft’s business was tied to the coronavirus conditions in North America, Uber could experience other problems as it operates around the world, he added.