Uber beats estimates and the stock is up

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Uber reported fourth-quarter earnings Wednesday that beat analysts’ estimates. Shares closed up 5% for the day.

Here’s how the company did:

  • Earnings per share: 29 cents vs. 18 cent loss expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv.
  • Revenue: $8.6 billion vs. $8.49 billion expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv.

Revenue for the quarter was up 49% year over year. Uber noted that net income for the quarter was $595 million, of which $756 million was a net benefit due to unrealized gains on equity investments.

In a prepared statement, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said Uber ended 2022 with its “strongest quarter ever,” capping off its “strongest year.” He said the pandemic’s impact on the company’s mobility business is “now well and truly behind us,” and that active drivers hit an all-time high during the quarter. He noted that the company also achieved a new milestone and hit 2 billion trips in a single quarter for the first time, averaging around 1 million trips per hour.

“Importantly, we achieved these results while also maintaining or improving our competitive position across our key markets,” he said in the statement.

The company reported adjusted EBITDA of $665 million, more than the $620 million expected by analysts, according to StreetAccount. Gross bookings for the quarter came in at $30.7 billion, up 19% year over year.

For the first quarter of 2023, Uber said it expects gross bookings to grow between 20% and 24% year over year on a constant currency basis, and an adjusted EBITDA of $660 million to $700 million.

Here’s how Uber’s largest business segments performed in the quarter:

Mobility (gross bookings): $14.9 billion vs. 14.8 billion expected by analysts, according to StreetAccount

Delivery (gross bookings): $14.3 billion vs. $14.3 billion expected by analysts, according to StreetAccount.

Uber relied heavily on growth in its Eats delivery business during the Covid pandemic, but its mobility segment surpassed Eats revenue in its first, second, and third quarters of 2022 as riders began to take more trips. That trend continued during the fourth quarter, as the company’s mobility segment reported $4.1 billion in revenue while delivery reported $2.9 billion.

Uber’s freight business booked $1.5 billion in sales for the quarter.

The number of monthly active platform consumers climbed to 131 million in the fourth quarter, up 11% year over year. There were 2.1 billion trips completed on the platform during the period, up 19% year over year.

Khosrowshahi told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Wednesday that Uber is not seeing any signs of consumer spend weakness. He said the company may be benefitting from a shift from retail to services spending following the pandemic.

“We have looked and looked,” he said. “We’re not seeing any signs of consumer weakness at this point.”

However, Khosrowshahi said about 70% of drivers are saying that inflation is a factor in their decision to come onto Uber’s platform.

“We may be benefiting from that trend, we’ll see where it takes us,” he said.

Uber will hold its quarterly call with investors at 8:00 a.m. ET Wednesday.

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