Uber's Q2 top expectations, but paying drivers weighs on profit

Uber said its "take rate" declined on rides as it had to spend to bring drivers back to work.
Written by Tiernan Ray, Senior Contributing Writer

Gig Economy pioneer Uber this afternoon reported Q2 revenue that topped Wall Street's expectations, and a surprise profit per share as a result of the re-valuation of equity investments, and said its "take rate" had declined as it had to spend to bring drivers back to work. 

The report sent Uber shares down 9% in late trading. 

CEO Dara Khosrowshahi remarked that the company "invested in recovery by investing in drivers and we made strong progress, with monthly active drivers and couriers in the US increasing by nearly 420,000 from February to July."

Added Khosrowshahi, "Our platform is getting stronger each quarter, with consumers who engage with both Mobility and Delivery now generating nearly half of our total company Gross Bookings."

Uber's CFO, Nelson Chai, remarked that Uber "successfully made large investments in Q2 to improve marketplace balance, and we are now well positioned to reach Adjusted EBITDA profitability by Q4

"As we make progress towards that important milestone, we expect our Adjusted EBITDA loss in Q3 to improve to less than $100 million in addition to record Gross Bookings between $22 and $24 billion."

Revenue in the three months ended in June rose 75%, year over year, to $3.93 billion, yielding a net profit of 58 cents a share.

Analysts had been modeling $3.76 billion and negative 52 cents per share.

Net profit of $1.4 billion was propped up by $1.87 billion resulting from the re-valuation of Uber's investment in startups:

Net income benefited from unrealized gains of $1.4 billion and $471 million due to the revaluation of Uber's equity investments in Didi and Aurora, respectively.

Uber's take rate in its mobility business, the percentage it makes on each ride declined to 17.8%, on average, from 25.8% a year earlier. I'm the food business, Uber's take rate increased to 15.2% from 12.7% a year earlier. 

The number of trips taken by Uber drivers more than doubled in the quarter to 15.2 billion, the company said.

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