Uber's shares fell 1% in premarket trading on Thursday after the firm reported a $2.4 billion net loss in the third quarter and provided an unimpressive outlook.
The loss was primarily due to writedowns on its equity investments, particularly in Chinese ride-hailing company Didi Global, whose stock plummeted after a tense summer struggle with regulators. Uber has increased its spending to entice drivers to return.
Uber did not mention Didi in its report, although it owns about 12% of Didi, which went public on the NYSE on June 30. Didi's stock has dropped by more than 41% since then.
The ride-hailing company also owns 7.8% of India's food delivery startup Zomato, despite the fact that its shares trade at a premium to their IPO price.
When it came to projecting adjusted earnings for the December quarter, the business gave a wide range, stating it expects them to be between $25 million and $75 million. Analysts expected more, given that the pandemic-related driver shortage is easing (thanks in part to the company's incentives), allowing it to better capitalize on a market where public confidence has risen to a level that encourages more cab use, both in absolute terms and in comparison to public mass transit systems.
Uber did announce an adjusted profit for the first time since its IPO, albeit a small $8 million profit.
In comparison, Lyft's adjusted EBITDA was $67.3 million. At the midpoint of its fourth-quarter guidance range, Uber's smaller rival expects adjusted EBITDA of $72.5 million.
Uber's gross bookings increased by 57% to $23.1 billion, while revenue increased by 72% to $4.8 billion.