Lyft on Tuesday reported solid fourth quarter financial results, shedding some insight into how consumers are behaving in the ongoing pandemic. The ride-hailing company reported that its active riders were up 49% over the year prior. Still, the number of active riders dipped sequentially from Q3 to Q4, in correspondence with the omicron surge.
On a conference call Tuesday, co-founder and CEO Logan Green struck an optimistic note.
"In the last week of January, we saw a pickup in ride share rides that we see as a positive signal," he said. "The demand rebound is a matter of when, not if."
All told, Lyft's non-GAAP adjusted net earnings per share came to 9 cents. Revenue in Q4 was $969.9 million, an increase of 70% year-over-year and an increase of 12% from Q3 2021.
Analysts were expecting earnings of 9 cents per share on revenue of $938.86 million.
"2021 was a big year," Green said in a statement. "We strengthened our financial position and continued investing in exciting growth initiatives. I'm proud of the team for what we've accomplished together and I'm looking forward to building on our momentum."
Revenue per Active Rider, Contribution Margin and Adjusted EBITDA all reached new highs in the fourth quarter, driven by improving service levels and higher ride volumes in our marketplace, according to CFO Elaine Paul.
"Despite short-term headwinds from omicron, we remain optimistic about full-year 2022," she said.
Active riders in Q4 came to 18.7 million. Revenue per active rider was $51.79, up 14% year-over-year.
By comparison, the number of active riders in Q3 was 18.9 million. In Q1 2020, before the pandemic took hold, the company had 21.2 million active riders.
Lyft's airport use case continued to recover, with airport rides in Q4 more than doubling year-over-year.
For the first quarter of 2022, Lyft expects revenue in the range of $800 to $850 million.
Prior to the omicron wave, the company anticipated strong sequential ride share ride growth. However, it now anticipates ride share growth will be down slightly in Q1 versus Q4.