Shares of Uber surged as a lot as 44% on Thursday after Dara Khosrowshahi, Chief Government Officer Dara Khosrowshahi stated it had loads of money available to tide over the coronavirus disaster and signaled a restoration in some components of its enterprise.
“We are very fortunate to have a strong cash position with about $10 billion of unrestricted cash as of the end of February,” Khosrowshahi stated on a name with analysts earlier than markets opened.
“In any crisis, liquidity is key.”
Shares of its US-based rival Lyft jumped 30% following the upbeat feedback.
Khosrowshahi’s feedback come as steps taken to comprise the fast unfold of the virus have slowed financial exercise, forcing a number of corporations to hoard money and entry credit score strains to pay wages and overheads.
He stated in an excessive situation the place the rides enterprise declines 80% for the remainder of the 12 months, Uber will nonetheless have $four billion of unrestricted money.
“About two-thirds of our cost of revenue and operating expense, excluding stock-based compensation, is variable,” he stated.
“If a trip doesn’t happen, many of these costs go away.”
Whereas rides have tumbled by 60% to 70% within the virus-hit areas, resembling Seattle, in areas resembling Hong Kong, the worst was behind, and Uber is seeing the start of a restoration, he stated. “Soon a city starts moving, Uber will too.”
“We believe that this kind of event will lead to weaker players dropping out of the market and Uber maintaining its dominant market share coming out of the crisis,” KeyBanc Capital Markets analysts wrote in a be aware.
Uber and Lyft have began suspending shared rides on their platforms in america and Canada as authorities push for social distancing to combat the virus.
Their shares have additionally plunged, with Uber almost halving in worth this 12 months and Lyft plummeting 65%.
Uber’s meals supply enterprise, Uber Eats, nevertheless, is seeing development as extra folks keep away from going out to eat, and cities order eating places to shut down dine-in areas.
“Our Eats business is an important resource right now, especially for restaurants that have been hurt by containment policies,” Khosrowshahi stated. “In the United States, our F&B sales team is now closing two-and-half times the number of new restaurants we normally do per day.”
Uber Eats stated earlier this week that it could waive off supply payment for impartial eating places throughout america and Canada.