Ride-sharing firm Uber Technologies Inc. on Wednesday showed financial growth in the fourth quarter, with losses coming in less than the previous quarter.
Sources with knowledge of the matter said that Uber’s fourth-quarter loss dropped to $1.1 billion from $1.46 billion in the third quarter.
However, the company still lost 61 percent to $4.5 billion for all of 2017, more than the $2.8 billion in 2016.
Uber’s loss was mainly based on accepted accounting standards, which includes write-downs and significant legal expenses.
The company last week agreed to give Alphabet Inc.’s self-driving vehicle unit Waymo $245 million worth of its own shares to settle a lawsuit over trade secrets, thus ending one of its most image-bruising public disputes.
It also agreed not to utilize any of Waymo’s technology for autonomous driving as part of the settlement.
Quarterly revenue on the other hand, was up 11.8 percent from $2 billion to $2.2 billion. The San Francisco-based group’s gross bookings also climbed 14 percent to $11.1 billion in the quarter. These record levels just showed that Uber continues to raise its sales, while making an impact on its loss.
Overall, its annual bookings rose to $37 billion in the previous year, with a full-year net revenue of $7.5 billion.
The ride-hailing firm ended 2017 with about $6 billion in cash, including $1.4 billion money set aside for potential insurance claims. This was 13 percent short from last year’s $6.9 billion. It also reported a negative cash flow of $160 million from operating activities.
The figures also fulfill Uber’s new chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi’s main goal of reviving the financial outlook of the company that has suffered huge losses in the past.
This is Khosrowshahi’s first full quarter since becoming Uber’s head.
Uber Prepares for IPO
The settlement and its improving finances suggest that it is making an effort to achieve its goal for an initial public offering (IPO) in 2019.
Remaining a private company, Uber is not legally required to present its quarterly figures, but it has begun disclosing some earnings information in recent months.
Last month, ride-hailing group agreed to sell $10 billion of its stock to a consortium led by Japan’s internet giant SoftBank Group Corp. recently for a 15 percent stake, making it the Uber’s largest shareholder.
The investment served as a part of the firm’s plan to reform its board structure, as it prepares to go public next year.
It is also meant to help Uber move past a series of controversies, which included allegations of executive misconduct, a toxic working environment, and potential unethical competitive actions that has resulted to the departure of its former CEO Travis Kalanick and the dismissal of more than 20 employees.
Khosrowshahi, who took over the peer-to-peer ridesharing group less than six months ago, already started making some changes in the troubled company last quarter.
The changes included selling Uber’s unprofitable car-leasing business and appointing a chief operating officer, who is required to cut costs and establish more standardization across 80 countries that the firm operates in. The position has been empty for many years now.
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