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Uber Q4 FY2021 Earnings Report Preview: What to Look For

Focus on UBER gross bookings

Key Takeaways

  • Analysts estimate EPS of -$0.32 vs. -$0.54 in Q4 FY 2020.
  • Gross bookings are expected to rise YOY, but at a slower pace than in recent quarters.
  • Revenue is expected to rise at a robust pace as Uber continues to recover from the impact of the pandemic.

Uber Technologies Inc. (UBER) is showing strong signs of recovery after the company's ride-hailing business was hit hard by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. That year, Uber suffered a $6.8 billion net loss as revenue plunged. Results would have been worse if it weren't for a surge in Uber's delivery business as people sheltering at home boosted orders for food and grocery deliveries. But now, companywide revenues and gross bookings are surging.

Investors will be watching closely to see how fast Uber is recovering when the company reports earnings on Feb. 9, 2022 for Q4 FY 2021. The company has struggled to make a consistent profit since going public with great fanfare in May 2019. For Q4, analysts expect Uber to report another loss per share, but smaller than in both the previous and year-ago quarters. Revenue is expected to rise for the third straight quarter in a row after a string of declines.

Investors will also be focusing on Uber's gross bookings, a key metric indicating the total dollar amount generated by Uber's combined ride-hailing, delivery, and freight-shipping businesses. Analysts expect gross bookings to rise for the fourth straight quarter after three consecutive quarters of declines.

Shares of Uber have lagged the broader market over the past year. The stock has been volatile but its underperformance gap with the rest of the market has widened throughout the past year. Uber's shares have provided a total return of -36.7% over the past year, well below the S&P 500's total return of 14.5%.

One Year Total Return for S&P 500 and Uber
Source: TradingView.

Uber Earnings History

Uber reported mixed earnings results in Q3 FY 2021. The company posted a loss per share that was more than four times larger than what analysts were expecting. It was also the biggest loss per share since the first quarter of FY 2020. Revenue, however, beat expectations, rising 72.2% compared to the year-ago quarter. It was the second straight quarter of revenue expansion after four consecutive quarters of declining revenue. Uber said that its net loss reflected the adverse impact of $2.0 billion related to the revaluation of certain equity investments: the company reported an unrealized loss of $3.2 billion due to the revaluation of its investment in Didi that was partially offset by unrealized gains from other investments.

In Q2 FY 2021, Uber's earnings and revenue beat consensus estimates. The company posted its first positive earnings per share (EPS) in at least 12 quarters. Analysts had expected another loss per share for the quarter. Revenue increased 105.4% year over year (YOY), ending the streak of four consecutive quarters of declines. Uber noted that its net income benefited from unrealized gains of $1.4 billion and $471 million due to the revaluation of its equity investments in Didi and Aurora, respectively.

Analysts expect Uber to report another loss per share in Q4 FY 2021, but smaller than in the previous quarter as well as in the year-ago quarter. Revenue is expected to rise 69.3% YOY, slowing from the pace of growth in the previous two quarters. For full-year FY 2021, analysts expect Uber to report its third straight year of losses per share, albeit a smaller loss per share than in the previous two years. Annual revenue is expected to rise 53.3%, a sharp turnaround from the previous year's decline of 14.3%.

Uber Key Stats
  Estimate for Q4 FY 2021 Q4 FY 2020 Q4 FY 2019
Earnings Per Share ($) -0.32 -0.54 -0.64
Revenue ($B) 5.4 3.2 3.7
Gross Bookings ($B) 25.7 17.2 18.1 

Source: Visible Alpha

The Key Metric

As mentioned above, investors will also be focusing on Uber's gross bookings. This key metric is defined as the total dollar value, including applicable taxes, tolls, and fees, generated by Uber's ride-hailing, grocery and food delivery, and freight-shipping businesses. Gross bookings provides a snapshot of the scale of all of Uber's services. Gross bookings are positively correlated with Uber's revenue, the portion of gross bookings that the company claims as its own.

Growth in Uber's gross bookings slowed sharply on an annual basis from 44.7% in FY 2018 to 30.5% in FY 2019. On a quarterly basis, gross bookings growth also decelerated markedly between Q4 FY 2018 and Q4 FY 2019. However, in Q1 FY 2021, the pace of growth slowed drastically to a YOY pace of 7.7% compared to 34.5% growth in the year-ago quarter. That's a deceleration of nearly 27 percentage points. That growth rate, however small, then turned into a decline. In each of the three subsequent quarters of FY 2021, gross bookings declined as lockdowns and people sheltering at home amid the pandemic significantly cut back on Uber's ride-hailing services. This was partly offset by increased demand for Uber's food delivery business. Growth in gross bookings finally returned in FY 2021. They rose 23.8% YOY in the first quarter, 114.2% YOY in the second, and by 56.8% YOY in the third. Analysts expect gross bookings to rise 49.8% YOY in Q4 FY 2021, which would be the fourth straight quarter of growth.

Article Sources

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  1. CNBC. "Uber losses narrow as delivery growth outpaces fall in ride-sharing." Accessed Feb. 8, 2022.

  2. Visible Alpha. "Financial Data." Accessed Feb. 7, 2022.

  3. Uber Technologies Inc. "Uber Q4 2021 Earnings Conference Call." Accessed Feb. 7, 2022.

  4. Uber Technologies Inc. "Uber Announces Results for Third Quarter 2021." Accessed Feb. 8, 2022.

  5. Uber Technologies Inc. "Uber Announces Results for Second Quarter 2021." Accessed Feb. 8, 2022.

  6. Uber Technologies Inc. "Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020," Page 69. Accessed Feb. 8, 2022.

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