Overall, Lyft topped $1 billion in quarterly revenue for the first time as riders grew more than expected. Wedbush analyst Dan Ives told Barron's that Lyft faces a headwind of $8 to $10 a share if California's AB 5 is not revised in favor of the ride-hailers. Overall, Uber lost $ 1.1 billion in the last quarter, 24 percent more than in the same quarter previous year. This was in contrast to its larger rival Uber Technologies, which last week moved its own profitability target, previously the same as Lyft's, to the fourth quarter of 2020.
Analysts during an investor call repeatedly pressed the company on prospects for profitability, leading Lyft executives to defend their target and insist the company was on the right track. Net loss margin for Q4 was 35.0 percent and 37.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Lyft operates only in the United States and some Canadian cities. Net loss came in at $256 million versus $248.9 million year-over-year, with Lyft noting that the figure included $207.3 million of stock-based compensation and related payroll tax expenses. But Lyft operates only in the US and Canada, while Uber's footprint extends across the globe.
For the full year 2019, Lyft booked $3.6 billion in revenue versus $2.2 billion in 2018 on an adjusted loss of $651.8 million versus $888.7 million the year before.
An adjusted EBITDA loss is expected to fall in the range of $490 million to $450 million as opposed to the $503 million analysts were expecting.
Ride-hailing service Lyft is sticking with its prediction that it will be profitable by the end of next year. Share-based payments at Uber in all of 2019 amounted to almost $4.6 billion, or roughly a third of revenue.
Lyft CEO Logan Green called fiscal 2019 an "exceptional year across the board". But shares of Lyft, like those of Uber, are still trading well below their initial public offering price, which in Lyft's case was $72 per share.
CFO Roberts in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday said 2020 created the foundation for "more durable growth" in 2021 and beyond.
But the San Francisco company's annual revenue jumped 68 per cent and ridership grew. Even though Lyft's stock has recovered from lows place in October, 2019, the organization's equity is now more than $20 down from its IPO price, taking into consideration its own post-earnings movement.
On the other hand, Eats generated 17% of Uber's revenue in the third-quarter of 2018, while Freight added a further 6% to the total revenue of the company.
Lyft said it expects to generate $4.6 billion to $4.7 billion in revenue in 2020.
"We want to win on innovation, customer experience and brand reputation, not on coupons or discounts", he said.