Lyft released strong fourth-quarter financial results on Tuesday, providing insight into consumer behavior in the ongoing pandemic. The ride-sharing company reported that its active riders increased by 49% over the previous year. Still, the number of active runners dropped sequentially from Q3 to Q4, in line with the omicron surge.
During a conference call on Tuesday, co-founder and CEO Logan Green sounded an optimistic note.
“During the last week of January, we saw an upturn in carpooling which we consider a positive signal,” he said. “The rebound in demand is a matter of when, not if.”
In total, Lyft’s non-GAAP adjusted net earnings per share were 9 cents. Fourth quarter revenue was $969.9 million, a 70% year-over-year increase and a 12% increase from the third quarter of 2021.
Analysts had expected earnings of 9 cents per share on revenue of $938.86 million.
“2021 has been a great year,” Green said in a statement. “We have strengthened our financial position and continued to invest in exciting growth initiatives. I am proud of the team for what we have achieved together and look forward to building on our momentum.”
Revenue per active passenger, contribution margin and adjusted EBITDA all hit new highs in the fourth quarter, driven by improved service levels and increased ride volumes in our market, says director financial Elaine Paul.
“Despite omicron’s short-term headwinds, we remain optimistic for 2022,” she said.
Active runners in the fourth quarter totaled 18.7 million. Revenue per active passenger was $51.79, up 14% year over year.
By comparison, the number of active cyclists in the third quarter was 18.9 million. In the first quarter of 2020, before the pandemic took hold, the company had 21.2 million active passengers.
Lyft’s airport use case continued to recover, with fourth quarter airport rides more than doubling year over year.
For the first quarter of 2022, Lyft expects revenue of between $800 million and $850 million.
Prior to the omicron wave, the company predicted strong sequential growth in carpool rides. However, he now expects ridesharing growth to be slightly down in the first quarter from the fourth.