Here comes Lyft … (LYFT)

Lyft is scheduled to report its third-quarter financial performance on Wednesday after the closing bell.

Here's what Wall Street analysts are expecting:

  • Earnings: $-0.72 per share
  • Revenue

    : $916.2 million

  • Active riders

    : 22 million

Last week, Lyft surprised investors when CEO Logan Green said the company expected to turn a profit one year sooner than expected by analysts, in the fourth quarter of 2021. Shares exploded as much as 11% on the news.

"We've never laid out our path to profitability, and we know that's a question on a lot of investors' minds," Green said at a Wall Street Journal tech conference, adding, "We're going to be profitable on an adjusted EBITDA basis a year before analysts expect us to."

By many metrics, Lyft's third-quarter could outshine its larger competitor Uber's, which is scheduled to report its earnings on Monday.

App-install data and market share analysis point to continued gains by Lyft, which remains focused on US and Canada transportation, as opposed to Uber's broader focus and investments in everything from flying cars to food delivery and more.

"We think the thesis for owning ride-hailing names has changed," Masha Kahn, an analyst at HSBC, told clients last week. "It is no longer about big growth potential and complete elimination of car ownership (never our thesis)."

"Growth in rides is slowing for both players," the bank continued, "but we think price increases and removal of subsidies should yield solid revenue/ANR growth dynamics and improving margins. Key investor questions are around elasticity of demand, regulatory challenges and, for Uber specifically, the path to profitability for the Eats business."

Shares of Lyft have been battered since the company's initial public offering in March, and the third quarter was no exception. The stock was trading down roughly 44% since the IPO on Wednesday.

Historically, the stock has moved up to 7% in either direction following an earnings report, and options contracts analyzed by Bloomberg imply this quarter could see an even larger jump, around 11%.

"We expect solid 3Q reports from both UBER and LYFT," Tom White, an analyst at D.A. Davidson, told clients last week, "but continue to prefer BUY-rated LYFT due to its relatively better business visibility, market share gains, and the moderating competitive intensity in U.S. ridesharing."

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