Lyft shares fall nearly 25% after forecasting revenue below estimates | CNN Business



(LYFT) on Thursday forecast current-quarter revenue below Wall Street estimates, blaming extremely cold weather in some of its major markets and lower prices, especially during peak hours, sending its shares down nearly 25% in extended trading.

The company’s outlook was in contrast to that of its larger rival Uber

(UBER), whose strong presence globally is helping it ride a boom in demand for ride-hailing services from travelers and office-goers

Lyft’s bigger presence on the U.S. West Coast, a region that analysts have said was trailing the rest of the United States in return to pre-COVID demand, could be hurting its recovery compared with Uber.

Company president John Zimmer said in an interview that the West Coast had “not fully” recovered but noted a “material improvement.”

Lyft forecast first-quarter revenue of about $975 million, which fell below analyst estimates of $1.09 billion, according to Refinitiv data.

Its forecast for first-quarter adjusted earnings before interest, taxes depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), a key measure of profitability that strips out some costs, was between $5 million and $15 million.

For the fourth quarter, Lyft reported an adjusted EBITDA of $126.7 million, excluding $375 million it had set aside for increasing insurance reserves. Analysts had forecast $91.01 million.

“We wanted to ensure we strengthened our insurance reserve … the purpose of doing that is to ensure we don’t have that type of volatility going forward, because we did such a large reserve on the high end of what we could expect given the size of our insurance book,” Zimmer said in an interview.

Active riders rose 8.7% increase to 20.36 million for the fourth quarter, Lyft said. Analysts were expecting 20.30 million, according to FactSet estimates.

Rideshare was “really back … we’re happy with the current marketplace conditions,” Zimmer said.

Revenue rose 21% to $1.18 billion, slightly above the average estimate of $1.16 billion.

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