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Uber manages to beat fourth-quarter revenue forecasts

(Sharecast News) - Ride-hailing and food delivery behemoth Uber Technologies reported a 15% improvement in fourth-quarter revenue on Wednesday, to $9.9bn, beating market expectations for revenue of $9.8bn. The company said the growth was mainly driven by its mobility and delivery divisions, which collectively grew by 22% year-on-year to $8.7 billion.

Gross bookings were also up 22% on the year, coming in at $37.6bn, beating the expectations reported by FactSet for a figure of $37.1bn.

It reported a notable improvement in its bottom line, with fourth-quarter net income totalling $1.4bn, compared to $595m in the prior year.

Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter stood at $1.3bn, increasing $618m year-on-year, with an adjusted EBITDA margin of 3.4%, up from 2.2% in the last quarter of 2022.

Uber said it saw a 24% increase in fourth-quarter trips, reaching 2.6 billion, with monthly active platform consumers growing 15% over the same period.

The company also demonstrated strong operational performance, with operating cash flow reaching $823m and free cash flow amounting to $768m for the fourth quarter.

As of the end of the quarter, Uber said it had unrestricted cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments totalling $5.4bn.

"Uber's platform advantages and disciplined investment in new growth opportunities resulted in record engagement and accelerating gross bookings in the fourth quarter," said chief financial officer Prashanth Mahendra-Rajah.

Looking ahead to the first quarter of 2024, Uber said it anticipated gross bookings between $37bn and $38.5bn, with adjusted EBITDA expected to range from $1.26bn to $1.34bn.

Those projections aligned closely with analyst expectations.

"2023 was an inflection point for Uber, proving that we can continue to generate strong, profitable growth at scale," commented chief executive officer Dara Khosrowshahi.

"Our audiences are larger and more engaged than ever, with our platform powering an average of nearly 26 million daily trips last year."

At 0838 EST (1338 GMT), shares in Uber Technologies were down 1.7% in premarket trading in New York, at $69.27.

Reporting by Josh White for Sharecast.com.

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