Lyft Shares Surge Over an 'Uber-Typo'

Earnings report included an extra 0 on a key profitability metric
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2024 5:52 AM CST
Lyft Shares Surge Over an 'Uber-Typo'
In this Jan. 12, 2016, file photo, a ride share car displays Lyft and Uber stickers on its front windshield in downtown Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

Shares of Lyft jumped as much as 66% in after-hours trading Tuesday thanks to a typo. The ride-sharing company's fourth-quarter earnings report had shown a closely-watched profit margin was expected to expand by 500 basis points, or 5%, this year. Lyft later announced this was "a clerical error," or as Business Insider reports, "an uber-typo." The adjusted EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization) margin expansion, calculated as a percentage of gross bookings, should've been 50 basis points or 0.5%. "This is a huge difference, when you consider that Lyft's gross bookings totaled almost $14 billion in 2023," per Business Insider, noting 5% of $14 billion is $700 million, while 0.5% is $70 million.

Even hours after the mistake was discovered, Lyft shares were up 16%, per the Wall Street Journal. "Market watchers said they couldn't remember the last time a typo triggered such a big stock reaction," the outlet reports. "The mishap eclipsed an otherwise positive earnings report from Lyft, which reported $1.2 billion in revenue—a 4% year-over-year increase," per Forbes. Lyft reported a net loss of $26.3 million in Q4, compared to $588 million from Q4 in 2022, and a net loss of $340.3 million in 2023, compared to $1.6 billion in 2022. The company expects to be cash flow positive, generating more cash than it spends, for the first time in 2024 and expects gross bookings of up to $3.6 billion in the first quarter, which is better than analysts expected, per CNBC. (More Lyft stories.)

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