Lyft shares rally 14% after it reports Q1 revenue growth of 23% to $955.7M

Alex Wilhelm
·2-min read
A Lyft Inc. light sits on the dashboard of a vehicle in the Time Square neighborhood of New York, U.S., on Wednesday, May 8, 2019.
A Lyft Inc. light sits on the dashboard of a vehicle in the Time Square neighborhood of New York, U.S., on Wednesday, May 8, 2019.

Fresh off of a large round of layoffs, Lyft reported its Q1 results this afternoon. The ride-hailing company disclosed that it generated revenue of $955.7 million in the first three months of 2020, up 23% from its year-ago Q1 revenue result of $776 million.

The company's net loss of $398.1 million was also an improvement on its year-ago, IPO-impacted result. On an adjusted basis, Lyft lost $97.4 million, and its adjusted EBITDA result was a slightly better -$85.2 million. Lyft lost $1.31 per share in the quarter.

The company's preceding guidance of around $1.06 billion in revenue and negative adjusted EBITDA of as much as $145 million now looks somewhat rosy in retrospect; investors' final expectations for the company as detailed by Yahoo Finance included revenue of $897.9 million and a per-share loss of $0.64.

Investors rejoice

Shares of Lyft were up sharply in after-hours trading following its report. The firm's revenue beat appeared to give investors hope that perhaps COVID-19 was not as impactful on its revenue as anticipated. Indeed, Lyft reported 3% more "active riders" in Q1 2020 than it saw in Q1 2019; revenue per active rider rose 19% YoY in the quarter. The combination of those two results led to its revenue gains.

Lyft cut nearly 1,000 employees last week, as many unicorns slashed staff levels in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic disruptions. The firm also furloughed hundreds more to control costs.

After Q1 2020 Lyft remained well-capitalized, with $2.7 billion of unrestricted cash, according to its release, compared to Q1 operating cash burn of around $207 million. The firm has enough cash, it would seem, to weather a COVID downturn of several quarters.

What Lyft says on its call about the end of Q1 and what it expects in Q2 and beyond will determine if it can hold onto its gains. Let's see what the firm has to say.

Update: In its earnings call, the company said that demand will remain limited for a lengthy period, and that it is seeing demand fall as much as 75%. In the immediate aftermath of the shared notes, Lyft shares continue to rise and are up 18.1% as of the time of this update.