Uber reported its first positive cash flow quarter, having spent $25 billion since its founding 13 years ago in its rush to rapid global expansion.
The money-losing conglomerate Silicon Valley, which has relied on heavily subsidized rides to heart the taxi industry around the world, said it generated $382 million in free cash flow in the three months to the end of June.
That’s much higher than the $109 million analysts had expected, according to data from S&P Capital IQ. Free cash flow is defined as the cash flow from operations minus capital expenditures.
“This marks a new phase for Uber, self-financing future growth with disciplined capital allocation, while maximizing long-term returns for shareholders,” said Nelson Chai, the company’s chief financial officer.
Uber’s share price jumped nearly 10 percent in pre-market trading.
The company had said earlier this year that it would rein in spending to meet the goal of reaching positive free cash flow by the end of 2022.
This included reducing drivers’ incentives and slowing hiring at companies — one of several companies to moderate hiring in response to a drop in the value of tech stocks.
The company continued to post a quarterly net loss of $2.6 billion, of which $1.7 billion was attributed to poor performance of investments, including its shares in self-driving company Aurora, Singapore-based app Grab, and Indian delivery app Zomato.
Chai said Uber’s income “will fluctuate from quarter to quarter due to the large size of equity stakes on our balance sheet.”
“While we intend to liquidate some of our stakes at an appropriate time, we have sufficient liquidity to give us the flexibility to hold all of these positions, with the aim of maximizing value for Uber and our shareholders,” he said.
The net loss was worse than Wall Street’s estimates, but Uber’s earnings comfortably beat analysts’ expectations on other metrics.
Revenue totaled $8.1 billion, up 105 percent year over year, as the company benefited from people who have come back out of the pandemic. Analysts had expected $7.37 billion.
1.87 billion trips were made on the platform in the second quarter, an increase of 24 percent year over year. The number of active users of the Uber apps grew to 122 million worldwide, an increase of 6 percent from the previous quarter.
Revenue in the ride-sharing “mobility” business was up 120 percent year over year, while revenue in the company’s delivery arm, Uber Eats, was up 37 percent to $2.69 billion.
Uber’s revenue benefited from an increase of $983 million due to business model changes in the UK regarding the reclassification of drivers as “workers”. This means that the total reservations in the country are counted as revenue. In most other markets, Uber only counts its share of each fare as revenue.
Adjusted gross EBITDA — Uber’s preferred measure of the profitability of its core business — was $364 million for the quarter, compared to a loss of $509 million in 2021. This metric excludes certain non-recurring expenses, such as discontinued operations and payments made to help drivers during the pandemic. .
Revenue in the company’s fledgling freight arm, which deals with long-distance trucking, rose to $1.8 billion, buoyed by its recent acquisition of Trans Place, a $2.25 billion freight technology group. In June, Uber announced a partnership with Alphabet-owned Waymo to pilot autonomous trucking “at scale.”