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Uber beats Q1 earnings expectations powered by delivery business growth

·Technology Editor
·2-min read
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Uber (UBER) reported its Q1 2021 earnings after the closing bell on Wednesday, beating analysts' expectations on the strength of its delivery business.

Here are the most important numbers Wall Street is looking for from the report versus how the ride-hailing company performed in the same quarter last year.

Gross bookings: $19.54 billion versus $18.07 billion expected

Ride gross bookings: $6.8 billion versus $6.6 billion expected

Delivery gross bookings: $12.5 billion versus $10.7 billion expected

Losses per share: $0.06 versus $0.37 expected

“Uber is starting to fire on all cylinders, as more consumers are riding with us again while continuing to use our expanding delivery offerings,” CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a statement. “We will continue to innovate and find new ways to deepen engagement with our customers, as the only global platform that helps you go wherever you need and get whatever you want.”

Uber’s earnings announcement follows the Labor Department’s decision on Wednesday to rescind a Trump-era rule that would have made it easier for companies to classify workers as independent contractors rather than full-time employees.

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Uber and its fellow gig economy firms have argued that they can’t treat workers as full-time employees without significantly increasing prices, and have fought such moves across the globe.

In California alone, Uber, rival Lyft (LYFT), and DoorDash (DASH) spent more than $200 million to generate support for Proposition 22, a ballot measure that exempted them from a law that would have required them to treat workers as employees rather than contractors.

Uber and Lyft were also hit particularly hard by pandemic induced lockdowns, as closed bars, restaurants, and other forms of entertainment meant fewer people needing rides. To offset its losses, Uber invested heavily in its Eats platform, which surged as consumers sought takeout options.

The company has also been pushing heavily into delivery with acquisitions of alcohol delivery service Drizly and Postmates and a partnership with convenience store delivery service Gopuff. And on Wednesday, the company announced it would begin providing same-day delivery services for Walgreens.

Those moves have helped offset the steep drop in ridership, and should provide Uber with an ongoing boost as lockdowns continue to ease.

On Tuesday, Lyft beat expectations when it reported its own earnings, with Lyft co-founder and president John Zimmer telling Yahoo Finance that “recovery is clear.”

Correction: Uber is partnering with Gopuff. It has not acquired it.

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