The Lyft Driver Hub is seen in Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Lyft Announces Solid Q4’21 Results
Lyft reported 18.73 million active riders in the last quarter of 2021.

Lyft Inc’s (LYFT.O) first full-year adjusted profit and a spike in pricey airport trips were overshadowed by a drop in ridership due to Omicron. Which management on Tuesday warned would persist into the first quarter and drag down profit.

Lyft carpooling option in Philadelphia returns
Image: Lyft

Lyft said it expected first-quarter revenue of between $800 million and $850 million, a decline of up to $170 million compared with the last quarter of 2021. Analysts on average forecast first-quarter revenue of $984 million.

Lyft also said it expected to report significantly lower adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization. A measure that excludes one-time costs, primarily stock-based compensation, in the first quarter.

Lyft never generated as much revenue per rider even in pre-pandemic times, and as customers return, Lyft. Its larger rival Uber Technologies Inc (UBER.N) have discovered their surprising power to raise prices without alienating riders. read more

While riders continued returning to the platform compared with 2020 levels. The ridership in the fourth quarter decreased by roughly 1% versus the prior quarter and ridership remains 30% below pre-COVID levels.

Fourth Quarter 2021 Financial Highlights

Lyft reported Q4 2021 revenue of $969.9 million versus $569.9 million in Q4 2020, an increase of 70 percent year-over-year and an increase of 12 percent from $864.4 million in Q3 2021.

Net loss for Q4 2021 was $258.6 million versus a net loss of $458.2 million in Q4 2020.

Net loss for Q4 2021 includes $164.2 million of stock-based compensation and related payroll tax expenses and $122.3 million
expense related to changes to the liabilities for the insurance required by regulatory agencies attributable historical periods.

The net loss margin for Q4 2021 was 26.7 percent compared to 80.4 percent in Q4 2020.

Adjusted net income for Q4 2021 was $32.1 million versus an Adjusted net loss of $185.3 million in Q4 2020 and Adjusted net income of $17.8 million in Q3 2021.

Lyft reported a Contribution for Q4 2021 of $578.8 million versus $316.0 million in Q4 2020. It is up 83 percent year-over-year and 13 percent from $513.6 million in Q3 2021.

We achieved a new record Contribution Margin of 59.7 percent during Q4 2021. Which was up over 4 percentage points year-over-year.

The contribution Margin for Q4 2021 also exceeded the Company’s outlook of 59 percent.

Adjusted EBITDA for Q4 2021 was $74.7 million, an increase of $224.7 million compared to Adjusted EBITDA loss of $150.0 million in Q4 2020.

Adjusted EBITDA for Q4 2021 improved by $7.4 million relative to the Q3 2021 level. It was in line with the high end of the Company’s most recent outlook for Adjusted EBITDA between $70 million and $75 million.

Adjusted EBITDA margin for Q4 2021 was a positive 7.7 percent versus Adjusted EBITDA margin of negative 26.3 percent in Q4 2020.

Lyft reported $2.3 billion of unrestricted cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments on December 31, 2021.

Stock Movement

Shares of the ride-hailing company sank 6% in extended trading after the company reported fewer active riders than in the prior quarter. Still, Lyft beat on the top and bottom lines for its quarterly results.

The company has struggled with driver supply and demand imbalances throughout the pandemic, leading to higher costs or long wait times.

CEO Logan Green said during the call with investors that Lyft sustained driver recovery in the quarter. Ride ETAs improved by roughly 30% across all of its operating markets. Active drivers hit a new pandemic high, Paul added, who are expected to maintain despite the omicron variant.

Another key marker of recovery, Lyft said airport rides more than doubled in the quarter compared to last year.