Uber CEO: Massive losses from IPO were a once-in-a-lifetime hit

GP: 2019 Sun Valley Arrivals: Dara Khosrowshahi, chief executive officer of Uber Technologies Inc.
Dara Khosrowshahi
Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi called the company’s staggering $5.2 billion loss a “once-in-a-lifetime” hit as he tries to steer it toward profitability.

In an interview with CNBC’s David Faber and Jim Cramer, Khosrowshahi shed light on the company’s second-quarter earnings report, in which Uber fell short of analysts’ expectations for both the top and bottom lines. The stock plunged as much as 7.4% in pre-market trading on Friday.

Khosrowshahi said he’s targeting 30% revenue growth in the back-half of the year, compared to net revenue growth of 26% in the second quarter. He added that spending will increase but decline as a percentage of revenue. 

Uber posted a loss of $4.72 per share, which was larger than the loss of $3.12 per share estimated by analysts. Revenue came in light at $3.17 billion compared to consensus estimates of $3.36 billion.

The company reported a staggering $5.2 billion loss during the quarter, which was largely owed to stock-based compensation. While stock-related compensation costs are common among Silicon Valley companies, Uber’s losses were bigger than total 2018 losses for all but three S&P 500 companies.

In an interview with CNBC’s Deirdre Bosa on Thursday, Khosrowshahi said 2019 will be the company’s “peak investment year” and that losses should come down in 2020 and 2021. He added that he’s certain “the business will eventually be a break even and profitable business.”

Excluding stock-based compensation, Uber’s losses were approximately $1.3 billion, or about 30% worse than the prior quarter.

Khosrowshahi continues to face increased pressure from investors that he can get Uber on track to profitability. That’s likely to be a tough task, given that Uber has long subsidized its rides.

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