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Earnings Results: Lyft stock plunges 25% after forecast, rider numbers come up short

Lyft Inc. said Tuesday that it had a better-than-expected first quarter, with ride-hailing volumes hitting “a new COVID high,” according to Chief Executive Logan Green.

After beating most expectations by analysts but falling slightly short of ridership estimates, Lyft
LYFT,
-2.35%

shares initially increased more than 2% initially before falling sharply, about 6%. They dropped 2.35% in the regular session to close at $30.76, their lowest close since Nov. 6, 2020, when they closed at $29.84. 

Elaine Paul, chief financial officer of Lyft, in a statement attributed the company’s “outperformance” to “increased demand and resilient driver levels.”

The ride-hailing company said it had 17.8 million riders, compared with 13.49 million riders in the year-ago quarter, falling shy of analysts’ expectation of 17.9 million riders. Lyft’s revenue per rider was $49.18, above analysts’ estimate of $47.20.

Lyft reported a first-quarter net loss of $196.9 million, or 57 cents a share, compared with $427.3 million, or $1.31 a share, in the year-ago period. After adjusting for stock-based compensation and other costs, Lyft reported earnings of $24.6 million, or 7 cents a share, up from an adjusted loss of 35 cents a share last year. Revenue climbed 44% to $875.6 million from $609 million in the year-ago quarter.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast an adjusted loss of 7 cents a share on revenue of $848.9 million.

Shares of Lyft have fallen about 9% so far this year, while the S&P 500 Index
SPX,
+0.48%

has decreased about 10% year to date.

Last week, the company restated its 2021 results, saying an accounting error led it to report a smaller loss for the year than it actually had. The company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that its loss for 2021 should have been $1.06 billion, or $3.17 a share, instead of $1.01 billion, or $3.02 a share.

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