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Earnings Results: Lyft stock plunges 26% 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

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

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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