Uber’s Wheels Are Coming Off amid a $1 Billion Loss

Mega-unicorn Uber reported earnings, or rather losses, on Thursday that demonstrate why hype doesn’t always work in a company’s favor.

Let’s hit the headline numbers and explain what they mean for Uber’s stock.

Solid Growth Across the Board

Just like its rival, Lyft, Uber saw a significant increase in gross bookings. That metric was up 31% to $15.76 billion. That was compared to just $12 billion last year.

Monthly active platform consumers, which is the number of consumers who use Uber at least once a month, grew by 30%, from 76 million to 99 million.

Given that the gross bookings increase is almost exactly the same on a percentage basis, it’s safe to say that it is the direct result of all these new customers.

We see that also reflected in the total number of trips, which increased 35% from 1.24 billion to 1.68 billion.

A little division tells us that the average consumer uses the service about 16 times per month.

That’s a very intriguing number.

What the Numbers Mean for Uber

The casual utilizer of the platform might use it just three or four times a month. This data suggests, although it doesn’t prove, that the service sees consistent popularity in large cities with businesses and possibly even people who have sold their cars and use rideshare instead.

Here’s something that may have fooled investors. Revenue only increased by 14%, from $2.77 billion to $3.17 billion. In the face of a 30% increase in bookings, a 14% increase in revenue suggests that price wars are still occurring.

The other possibility is that, despite an increase in the number of consumers and trips, people are taking shorter trips.

Yet one has to adjust for foreign…

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