27.15 -0.35 (-1.27%)
After hours: 6:34PM EDT
|Bid||27.14 x 800|
|Ask||27.25 x 3200|
|Day's range||26.36 - 29.75|
|52-week range||14.56 - 69.70|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||N/A|
|PE ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Earnings date||10 May 2020 - 17 May 2020|
|Forward dividend & yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y target est||54.10|
The novel coronavirus has capsized the lives of freelancers and self-employed workers who are trying to find financial stability.
Gig workers classified as independent contractors by platforms such as Uber Technologies Inc, Lyft Inc, Doordash or Instacart were included in the federal government's coronavirus stimulus bill to receive unemployment benefits generally reserved for full-time employees. This at a time when Uber and Lyft drivers are suffering from a near-total collapse in ride-hailing demand as large parts of the United States shut down to combat the spread of the highly infectious virus.
Uber senior vice president of global rides and platform operations, Andrew Macdonald, said on Twitter that the company had received an initial batch of 30,000 bottles of cleaning spray by Atlanta-based company Zep Inc. Previously, Uber said suppliers had prioritized orders for healthcare, with its own orders being moved down the queue several times. Lyft Inc last week said it had distributed many supplies to drivers while its hubs were still open and was working a way to distribute them now, but declined to provide additional details.
The auto industry is reeling amid the coronavirus. TPG Global senior advisors and former Ford CEO Mark Fields chats with Yahoo Finance.
(Bloomberg) -- A Michigan bid to raise taxes on the rich hits the rocks. A proposed amendment allowing sports betting at Indian casinos in California stalls. An effort to bring light to how political ads are funded in Arizona is suspended.Across the country, stay-at-home decrees are blocking the most essential part of efforts to get these proposals on ballots in November: Gathering signatures in person. The virus is preventing organizers from courting supporters in supermarkets and shopping malls just as deadlines loom.“The coronavirus is a huge blow to direct democracy,” said Fred Kimball, president of Kimball Petition Management, a California signature-gathering company. “I’ve never seen anything like it – never. Usually I’m the guy they call to fight through this and get a lot of stuff done at the last minute, but this year there’s nothing I can do.”Proposition 13California is among 24 states with initiative systems enabling voters to sidestep legislatures and place statutory changes and, in some places, constitutional amendments on ballots.The first state to adopt an initiative system was South Dakota in 1898, and since then states from Florida to Oregon have followed. California’s landmark 1978 measure limiting escalation of property taxes, Proposition 13, spawned a national movement and accelerated adoption of what advocates call direct-democracy initiative campaigns around the country.“There’s no question that the pandemic changes the strategy advocacy organizations are using to affect issues,” said Michael Latner, political science professor at California Polytechnic State University. “The work of these groups is going out, canvassing, meeting people and gathering support, and all that has to stop.”Signatures Are EverythingWhen signature drives stall, proponents are left with little recourse other than to wait until hand-to-hand canvassing is permitted again.Advocates can approach lawmakers about endorsing their ideas and introducing them as bills in state legislatures, said Wendy Underhill, director of elections and redistricting for the National Conference of State Legislatures. But in many cases proponents of ballot measures have already tried that path and found it unworkable.Initiatives require physical signatures that can be scrutinized and verified -– online signature-gathering isn’t permitted. While well-financed campaigns can try to shift to direct mail or online outreach, such methods are far less efficient than canvassing and more expensive, Latner said.Signature-gathering campaigns that have been suspended this year include an effort to identify donors behind political ad campaigns in Arizona, graduated-tax and lobbying-reform in Michigan, medical marijuana legalization in Nebraska, a citizen redistricting commission in Arkansas, a gun-control initiative in Oregon, a $5.5 billion bond issue for stem-cell research and a constitutional amendment permitting sports betting on Indian reservations in California, and many others.“In keeping with the governor’s statewide order for non-essential businesses to close and residents to remain at home, we’ve suspended all signature gathering for the time being,” said Sarah Melbostad, spokeswoman for the California stem-cell campaign, adding that the group believes it still has time to qualify.Some campaigns have already gathered the required number of signatures and appear likely to qualify. Those include a California proposal backed by ride-sharing companies Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. to allow drivers to continue to be designated as independent contractors, rather than employees, while providing them with new benefits.The proposal was designed to counter a state law that took effect in January that aims to force companies, including Uber and Lyft, to treat more workers as employees who entitled to paid sick days and minimum wage, among other benefits.“We gathered more than a million signatures in seven weeks,” said Stacey Wells, spokeswoman for the campaign. “We didn’t know the coronavirus was coming. We had a lot people who were eager to sign and a thousand drivers who wanted to gather signatures.”The number of signatures needed and the deadlines for submitting signatures vary by state. In California, the functional deadline for submission of signatures to qualify for the November ballot is April 21, Kimball said. That allows counties and then the secretary of state’s office to review and verify signatures.California requires 623,212 valid signatures for an initiative to be placed on the ballot and 997,139 to qualify a constitutional amendment. In any drive, hundreds of thousands of signatures turn out to be duplicates or are otherwise deemed invalid, Kimball said, so campaigns try to gather many more than the minimum required.“I have contracts on two initiatives – a dialysis initiative and a pain-and-suffering initiative that adjusts the award limit in medical negligence cases,” he said. “Projecting a 70% validity rate, you need about 900,000 signatures, and I have about a million each for my two campaigns. Other campaigns have had to shut down because of the virus. Those initiatives will not be on the ballot because of it.”One campaign that suspended signature-gathering in the California is the group promoting sports wagering at Indian casinos.“We are just shy of one million signatures and would have reached our goal well ahead of the deadline before the unprecedented orders around Covid-19,” said Jacob Mejia, spokesman for the campaign. “We remain committed to bringing this issue to voters in November and are monitoring circumstances closely.”Tax, Lobbying Initiatives StalledWhile western states such as California, Oregon and Colorado are known for aggressive adoption of ballot measures – and for initiatives on every ballot that sometimes seek to sidestep laws or force action on issues lawmakers have declined to embrace – initiatives have become an increasingly popular method of forcing change in other places as well.In Michigan, the campaign to replace the state’s flat tax rate with a tiered plan taxing higher earners at higher rates and an effort to clamp down on lobbying in the state capital of Lansing are both casualties of the coronavirus, their organizers say. Both groups, Fair Tax Michigan and the Coalition to Close Lansing Loopholes, said they would suspend efforts to place measures on this year’s ballot and shift their goal to the 2022 election.“I can imagine that citizens who have been working on issues around the country are quite disappointed that this process has ceased to function,” said Underhill of the National Conference of State Legislatures. “It’s one more area where Covid has brought things to a screeching halt.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Amazon (AMZN) partners with Lyft to provide latter's drivers with delivery drivers, warehouse and shopper job opportunities for additional income amid the crisis.
Ride-hailing companies like Uber (UBER) and Lyft (LYFT) and Via are seeing steep declines in ridership as populations around the world stay home to contain the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.
As grocery outlets and retailers across the country ramp up employment to keep up with demand during the coronavirus outbreak, they’re also facing growing backlash from workers who say their lives are being put at risk.
Lyft's decision to stick to its first-quarter 2020 outlook despite coronavirus woes is encouraging. Moreover, the company's acquisition of Halo Cars are highly promising
The use of video conferencing services like Zoom and Skype has seen a boom as of late as more look for easier ways to work and communicate remotely. Linguistics tech company Jeenie is looking to offer that same solution for those needing interpretation services.
(Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc. is teaming up with Lyft Inc. on recruiting the ride-hailing company’s drivers to deliver packages and groceries as the pandemic keeps people indoors.In an email to Lyft drivers Friday, the company referred them to work opportunities at Amazon as grocery shoppers, warehouse workers or delivery people “as a way to earn additional income right now.” The message from Lyft, which came in response to plummeting demand for rides and economic hardships facing drivers, also indicated that drivers could qualify for compensation in the U.S. stimulus bill.While Amazon and Lyft have competed for workers in the past, the surge in grocery and package deliveries has reset that dynamic. Amazon said last week it plans to hire 100,000 people and give U.S. workers a temporary $2-an-hour raise in an effort to meet the crushing demand. However, Amazon is under fire for not doing enough to protect its workers, some of whom have tested positive for the coronavirus. The company said it has stepped up cleaning in its warehouses and is giving guidelines to workers about maintaining safe distances.Declines in the ride-hailing business are sharp. Recent estimates put a drop in fare prices at as much as 11% and demand at about 20%. Uber Technologies Inc., the largest ride-hailing operator, can partly offset the shortfall with its restaurant delivery business, which is seeing an uptick. Lyft doesn’t deliver food.In the email to drivers reviewed by Bloomberg, Lyft suggested that in addition to seeking immediate work with Amazon, drivers could sign up to help deliver groceries, Covid-19 tests and other medical supplies as part of future partnership programs. Lyft said more than 100,000 drivers had already signed up.Lyft urged drivers to follow federal health guidelines and suggested installing a plastic barrier in their vehicles, along with a link to buy such a kit on Amazon. A Lyft spokeswoman declined to specify terms of the arrangement with Amazon.(Updates with additional reporting starting in the fourth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Dockless scooter companies charged into cities in 2018, promising a mobility revolution with cheap, clean rides and billions in venture capital backing. Yet they soon faced roadblocks, including shaky business models, safety concerns, and fast-moving city regulators. At the start of 2020, cash-losing operators were shrinking their headcounts and vehicle fleets.Now as governments around the world fight to slow the coronavirus pandemic, micromobility companies are facing a deeper existential challenge. The two largest global operators, Lime and Bird, drastically reduced fleets by mid March. Several other startups, including Wheels and Jump, say they’re looking at how to continue operating as cities issue lockdown orders and demand plummets. The appeal of sharing a high-touch vehicle with an unknown number of strangers has succumbed to the fear of viral transmission.Lime’s CEO and co-founder Brad Bao wrote in a blog post on March 21 that the startup is “winding down or pausing” service in all markets but South Korea. Prior to the pandemic, the company operated nearly 120,000 scooters in 30 countries across the Americas and Europe. Bird announced it is removing its fleets in six U.S. cities: Miami and Coral Gables, Fla.; Portland, Ore.; and Sacramento, San Francisco, and San Jose. It had already pulled vehicles from 21 European cities.Jump, a subsidiary of Uber Technologies Inc., has paused electric bike and scooter rentals in most of its European markets and trimmed the size of its fleets across the U.S. It stopped service entirely in Sacramento at the city’s request. Lyft Inc. has continued to operate its network of mostly docked bikeshare systems in eight U.S. markets. So far, it’s kept dockless scooters available for rent in all urban markets but Miami. Every company with vehicles in circulation said that they have heightened their handlebar sanitation protocols and are encouraging riders to do the same.The sudden disappearance of scooters and e-bikes comes after months of industry turbulence. Lime and Bird have struggled to raise money from investors, and both cut staff starting late last year. The companies, once singularly focused on growth, have realized their problematic business plans need rethinking.Last year, talks of an acquisition of either company by Uber didn’t pan out. Some industry watchers said the eye-popping valuations of each—in 2019 Lime and Bird hit $2.4 billion and $2.5 billion, respectively—were a factor. The Information reported on Thursday that layoffs are now imminent at Lime, as it seeks emergency funding at a valuation of just $400 million. (A Lime communications officer denied that layoffs are coming.) Uber and Lyft, both of which went public in 2019, conducted layoffs in their own micromobility divisions late last year, and both recently pulled dockless vehicles from several markets. Wheels and Lime say ridership was rising before the start of widespread social distancing. The decisions to reduce urban fleets now have been motivated largely by a sense of responsibility for the health of their riders and workers who maintain the vehicles, Lime and Bird say. The economics of the business is also an undeniable factor, said David Spielfogel, Lime’s chief policy officer. “If everyone is sheltering in place and not moving around, the business is no longer sustainable,” he said. Tourists, which generate significant scooter ridership in many cities, have also vanished from most markets. While there may be ways for Lime to generate revenue during the crisis, that’s not a priority while people are at home, and “governments are trying to get the virus under control,” Spielfogel said.Many investors, already skeptical about the viability of the e-scooter business, say the current situation could be the nail in the coffin for an industry beset by financial, safety, and regulatory woes. “I’ve heard a number of people compare the plight of the scooter companies to Uber and Lyft. Like them, scooters are seeing plummeting usage,” says Aaron Michel, a partner at the early-stage venture capital firm 1984 Ventures, which has no investments in the micromobility space. “Unlike Uber and Lyft, though, the verdict was pretty much in on the scooter industry before the virus arrived.” Companies without major backers will go under, he expects, while deeper-pocketed businesses will pare back to bare minimums.Emily Castor Warren, a principal and director of policy at the transportation planning firm Nelson\Nygaard and a former director of policy at both Lyft and Lime, agreed that the pandemic could be a death knell for scooter businesses with large overhead costs, especially those that were already in an uncertain financial position. “I think it’s pretty dire,” she says. “If these lockdowns persist, they’re going to have to, at the very least, undertake major layoffs to core teams, because the one cost they can’t bring down to zero is salaries for headcount and real estate for their offices.”The short-term outlook may not be so precarious for every micromobility company. Wheels, a startup that operates dockless electric minibikes in 17 cities in Europe and the U.S., raised $50 million in October in a funding round led by DBL Partners.The company announced on March 27 that it will roll out vehicles with self-cleaning handlebars and brake levers that can be used for delivery services and other essential uses, while its shared bikes are suspended until the end of March. The company has partnered with NanoSeptic, which has developed the self-cleaning surface. The technology uses mineral nano-crystals that continuously oxidize organic contaminants.Scooter operator Spin hasn’t felt the same capital pressure as some of its peers—it’s owned by the Ford Motor Co. Until this week, Spin was the sole scooter provider to maintain normal operations—in its case, serving 66 U.S. cities and 12 college campuses—but it changed course on Tuesday. The company will retain scooters only in Austin, Baltimore, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Portland, Ore., San Francisco, Tampa, and Washington, D.C.“We have made the decision to pause our operations, as of today, in all other cities due to significant demand drop off as communities combat the fast-spreading virus,” the company’s co-founders wrote in a Medium post. “This pause will remain in effect until further notice.” Spin’s communications staff couldn’t clarify which specific markets would be losing vehicles, and Ford’s communications team rebuffed multiple requests for interviews with executives. Molly Turner, a lecturer in business and public policy at the University of California at Berkeley and an adviser to technology startups including Spin, said the cities the company is continuing to serve may indicate where it’s had the greatest financial success to date. The markets Spin is pulling out of may show “where scooters weren’t a viable business or didn’t have enough penetration to succeed without the special partnerships or promotions that are impossible right now,” she says.That may be the case for all companies in question, as travel right now, no matter what the mode of transportation, has come to a near standstill. Several scooter operators, including Jump, Lime, Spin, and Wheels, are considering opportunities to partner with local governments or essential service providers as a way to continue operations, as residents avoid buses, trains, and other public transit under shelter-in-place mandates. New York City saw ridership on its Citi Bike system jump 67% in mid-March, after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced social distancing guidelines. On March 21, ridership on the city’s subway, the nation’s largest mass transit system, was down 87% from the same time last year. Some investors view the decline in transit use as one reason for optimism about the mid-term prospects for micromobility. Assuming commuters remain skittish about crowding into buses and subway cars after the shelter-in-place orders lift, scooter and e-bike companies could take the opening to push for looser regulations and the reversal of the scooter bans ordered in some world cities, says Bradley Tusk, a co-founder and managing partner of Tusk Ventures and an investor in Bird. “With warming weather, better needs, and arguments for legalization and less saturated markets, [and] with companies like Lime contracting, there’s a legitimate opportunity over the next 3-6 months,” he wrote in an email.An additional upside could come in selling or leasing scooters and e-bikes directly to riders, says Niko Bonatsos, managing director at General Catalyst, an early-stage venture capital fund that hasn’t invested in dockless rentals. “Right now we hate each other and can’t stand each other’s company, and getting an Uber or grabbing someone else’s shared scooter might not be the best idea,” he said. “But if you have your own bike, now is the time to use it.” Bird offers a monthly leasing program, as does the electric moped startup Zebra.For cities that have come to value shared micromobility services as a sustainable transportation option, subsidizing them may be the only way to secure their existence long-term, Castor Warren says. Some traditional docked bikeshare systems, including those in Boston, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., are owned by local governments but operated by Lyft. “In that model the city has more ability to ensure continuity of operations and ensure that service will be provided to the public, because they’ve extended their own resources, even if the bottom falls out of the economy,” she says.Such a scenario would prove what skeptics have said about dockless scooters and ride-hailing companies from the start. History has shown that establishing a new transportation service often requires massive subsidies from investors or governments.For now, even though they may be allowed to continue to operate in many cities, the scooter companies are going it alone. Says Turner: “They’re not getting a bailout from Congress.”(Updates ninth paragraph to include an announcement by Wheels on March 27.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Uber and Lyft may have paved the way for ride-sharing applications, but one small Canadian company is looking to take your commute to the next level
(Bloomberg) -- Isolated with his family at home in San Francisco, Uber Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi has been making pleading phone calls to members of Congress. Khosrowshahi is asking for a bailout—not for his company, which has told investors it should have at least $4 billion in cash by the end of the year—but for its idle drivers.Uber Technologies Inc. and Airbnb Inc., the leaders of the so-called sharing economy, are suffering during the Covid-19 shutdown, but not in the same way as traditional travel companies like airlines or hotel chains. They’ve built their business models on offloading as many costs and as much risk as possible to their suppliers. Uber doesn’t have to pay salaries for drivers with little or nothing to do. Now it’s those Uber drivers, as well as Airbnb’s hosts, who have to worry about paying for cars and houses that are not generating income as they depreciate in value. The companies are hardly immune to the fallout from the pandemic. Uber has lost about 20% of its market value since the end of trading on on Feb. 26, and Airbnb’s board considered revising its plan to go public at a recent meeting. But executives from both companies have focused on drivers and hosts when working the phones to secure some government relief. Uber also sent a letter to the White House and congressional leadership. Airbnb penned a letter of its own advocating for hosts. After an early morning agreement, the massive bailout bill Congress is working seems set to extend unemployment benefits to independent contractors and sole proprietorships, bringing relief even to workers for platforms that haven’t been paying for unemployment insurance. In a letter to colleagues Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wrote that the bill "ensures that all workers are protected whether they work for businesses small, medium or large, along with self-employed and workers in the gig economy."Khosrowshahi has spoken to at least 10 members of Congress in the past week, according to two people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named discussing private matters. Perhaps his most fruitful call came with Schumer, where the senator seemed to indicate support for protecting independent contractors, the two people said. A spokesman for the minority leader did not return a request for comment.As he makes the rounds, Khosrowshahi has been reminded that being the chief executive of a $45.5 billion company doesn’t automatically make someone a power player in Washington. When he attempted to bend the ear of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, for instance, Khosrowshahi was shunted off onto a staffer. “He's not even demanding to talk to the principals,” said Justin Kintz, Uber’s head of policy. “He's willing to speak to anyone on the Hill who is willing to listen.”Similarly, Airbnb’s three co-founders have spoken with more than a dozen members of Congress, making sure that U.S. hosts— who often file their taxes as sole proprietors—benefit from the bailout package, according to two people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named discussing private matters. They’ve also enlisted thousands of hosts to urge lawmakers to include people who earn income by renting property on Airbnb in their unemployment protections. Airbnb also wants to make sure hosts are eligible for Small Business Administration emergency loans. While both companies are familiar with controversy, they believe they have a winning political issue. “To put it in a really fine perspective, 14% of our hosts are from households that include teachers,” said Chris Lehane, a long-time Democratic operative who runs Airbnb’s policy shop.Uber is the leader of a larger group of companies who have pushed the boundaries of traditional employment that also includes Lyft Inc., Postmates Inc., and DoorDash Inc. All of them consider their workers to be independent contractors, and don’t provide benefits like health insurance. Airbnb hosts aren’t independent contractors, but are taking on financial risk in much the same way that ride-hail or delivery drivers do. Critics of sharing economy companies have long argued their business models were creating circumstances that would make workers vulnerable during a downturn. By offloading risk onto workers, they’re also putting pressure on the governments to whom it will inevitably fall to support them. For its part, Uber has been arguing that states or the federal government create a new status of worker that is neither totally an employee or an independent contractor. “The company has been pushing for a third way for seven years,” said Lane Kasselman, a former Uber executive who advises startups. The vulnerability of workers now, he said, is “proof of what they’ve been saying all along.” Patricia Smith, who was solicitor of labor under President Barack Obama, said Uber was “taking advantage of a crisis” by pushing for a new legal status of work, predicting such a move would inspire other companies to push employees into situations with fewer benefits. “All you’re going to do is open the door to even more misclassification,” she said. While Uber is eager to advocate for its workers, it has not moved to use the $10 billion it had in cash as of the end of February to provide relief itself. Doing so could increase the likelihood the company would be compelled to continue paying out those benefits going forward, the company says. Uber has however said it will compensate drivers who suffer from coronavirus.Uber’s turn towards driver advocacy hasn’t gone unnoticed. “A little ironic, right? Uber has spent so much time and money fighting reclassification,” ” said Bradley Tusk, a startup advisor who previously worked with Uber but sold his shares. “Now there's all of a sudden an upside of people being treated as employees and they want it.”(Updates starting in the third paragraph to reflect updated market cap, new details to reflect status and content of stimulus bill, and Uber’s compensation of drivers with coronavirus.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Many Uber and Lyft drivers depend on the companies, but under U.S. labor law they do not have the protections granted to regular employees. Under pressure to ease the plight of its roughly 1.3 million U.S. drivers and food delivery workers, Uber has seized on the crisis to advance its campaign for a larger overhaul of U.S. employment law to permit it to offer more benefits while maintaining workers' contractor status, changes it has requested from state and federal lawmakers for several years. Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi on Monday urged U.S. legislators to use the current crisis as an opportunity to implement changes to existing employment law by creating what the company calls a "third way" in between employment and contractor status.
Even with Uber rides down 60% due to coronavirus, Uber's CEO sees multiple silver linings that will help Uber weather the storm—that optimism has sent the stock higher.
Lyft is expanding the types of services it provides through its on-demand transportation network in an effort to boost efforts to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The company announced that it will be offering delivery of critical medical supplies to individuals who need them during this time, including the elderly and those living with chronic diseases, and that it will be delivering meals to students who ordinarily get subsidized lunches through school, as well as seniors. The new efforts are detailed in a blog post by the ride-hailing company, and also include expanding its existing medical transportation services for anyone that needs to get to critical healthcare appointments and treatments, while dealing with the extra strain put on the healthcare system by the coronavirus pandemic.
In an email to drivers, Lyft co-founders John Zimmer and Logan Green said, "Those who would like to help neighbours get to grocery stores, workers to hospitals and caretakers to their jobs" can join a new "LyftUp Driver Task Force." Lyft said the service did not yet exist but will allow drivers to help out with direct on-the-ground needs in their community. The effort will start in the Bay Area, with plans to expand the programme across California and the country, Lyft said.
Uber and Lyft drivers across the country are facing the prospect of financial ruin, as ridership plummets amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Ride-sharing applications Lyft and Uber both saw share prices jump by over 30 percent, as the sector offers a promising forecast despite growing coronavirus concerns