Lyft is continuing to gain market share from its larger rival Uber in the United States, new data shows as the No.2 ride-hailing firm prepares to report its third-quarter financial performance on Tuesday.
For the first time, data from eMarketer shows, more than half of US adults will use Lyft, with that percentage expected to grow to 59% by 2022. Of course, many people use both apps, and Uber's still expected to grow 11% this year, the firm estimates.
Still, the numbers are likely a welcome harbinger for anxious investors who've seen the company's stock price sink 41% since Lyft's initial public offering in March. Those underwater investments got some relief last week, when CEO Logan Green said the company now expects to be profitable a year sooner than previously planned, sending shares skyrocketing.
This one quarter may be rosier for Lyft than Uber, which continues to invest heavily in new products and services around the world, but the larger competitor's lead isn't going anywhere any time soon.
Data from Signal Tower, which monitors new app installs on iPhone and Android devices, shows that Uber is still hitting new phones more than Lyft. Uber saw an estimated 6.5 million downloads in the US and Canada during the quarter, compared to Lyft's 5 million.
When Lyft's numbers cross after the closing bell, analysts expect the balance sheet to show a loss of $0.72 per share on revenue of $916 million. 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 LYFT's third quarter as a public company to be another strong one," Tom White, an analyst at D.A. Davidson, said in a note to clients last week, "supported by late 2Q pricing optimizations and moderating competitive intensity in the U.S. ridesharing space."
Despite the post-IPO slump, Wall Street analysts remain markedly optimistic on both Uber and Lyft, despite their respective 37% and 26% declines in the third quarter. Most analysts polled by Bloomberg overwhelmingly rate the stocks as buys, with an average target price well above current trades.
"Growth in rides is slowing for both players, but we think price increases and removal of subsidies should yield solid revenue/ANR growth dynamics and improving margins," Masha Kahn, an analyst at HSBC, said this week. "Key investor questions are around elasticity of demand, regulatory challenges and, for Uber specifically, the path to profitability for the Eats business."
"We prefer Lyft into the 3Q19 report (30 Oct 2019) and expect another top-line beat on higher pricing/net take rate," the bank said.