In Monday evening’s earnings report, rideshare company Uber Technologies (NYSE:UBER) beat on both the top line and the bottom line. So why is UBER stock down 13% after the report?
Specifically, revenues rang in at $3.8 billion for the third quarter, whereas Wall Street analysts had expected $3.6 billion, and net losses came in at -$0.68 per share versus -$0.82 expected. But when you dig into Uber’s news, you’ll start to see what spooked Wall Street.
However, I have my own reasons for staying away from UBER at this time. Let’s take a look, because both are worth your consideration before taking any action on UBER stock.
Much of the news coverage centered around one number: $1.2 billion. That’s the amount of Uber’s total losses in the third quarter. A billion dollars is a major psychological level, and it tends to get people’s attention – at a time when Uber employees will soon be free to sell their shares. (The IPO lockup expires today.) For a $48 billion stock, the impact of $20 billion more on the sell side would be pretty serious.
The latest results for Uber Eats were also closely watched. While Uber’s meal ordering and delivery business is much smaller than its ride-sharing business, it is growing much faster. But Uber Eats is not yet profitable – and, in the third quarter, the net loss nearly doubled. Losses for Uber Eats totaled $316 million in the third quarter, versus $189 million in the year-ago quarter.
That’s a major drag on UBER’s bottom line. In fact, the company would have reached overall profitability in the third quarter…if the earnings from Rides were not accompanied by net losses from all its other segments. Those include Uber Eats, Freight, “Other Bets” (like scooters), and its Advanced Technology Group, which is working on autonomous “robo-taxis.”
This speaks to my main concern with UBER stock. Right now, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is targeting 2021 as the year when his company will finally become profitable. But, with Uber digging billion-dollar holes, some analysts aren’t expecting this milestone until 2025!
Bulls may argue that this is par for the course for a new upstart like UBER. But for a counterpoint, I would point them to one of Uber’s peers in the “gig economy”: Etsy (NASDAQ:ETSY).
Etsy is not much older than Uber, but it’s been profitable since June 2017. In the third quarter, Etsy was $14.8 million in the green, which translated to $0.12 earnings per share. That was right in line with Wall Street expectations and included a nice revenue beat: $197.9 million vs. $193.5 million expected.
Unlike Uber, Etsy’s growth initiatives are adding to the bottom line, rather than subtracting from it. This summer, Etsy acquired Reverb, another online marketplace – but one focused on musical instruments and gear, rather than handmade goods. Already, Reverb has been such a boon that Etsy mentioned it in raising its 2019 guidance. The company now expects revenue between $809 million and $815 million, or 34% to 35% annual revenue growth. That’s up from previous estimates for 32% to 34% annual revenue growth.
With growth like that, ETSY is a mainstay on my buy list.
But I’ve also got my eye on a trend that’s much larger than any one stock. None of these internet companies will get much farther without the “mother of all technologies.”
‘The Mother of All Technologies’
Up until now, technologies have certainly made our lives easier and more efficient … but with a lot of room for human error. People trip over cords, spill their coffee and get tired.
Artificial intelligence does not.
If that sounds futuristic, well then, the future is already here. If you use apps like Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), TurboTax, QuickBooks, Zillow (NASDAQ:Z) or even an email spam filter, then AI is already helping your day run more smoothly. And as scientists find even more applications for artificial intelligence — from healthcare to retail to self-driving cars — it’s incredible to imagine how much data will be involved.
To create AI programs in the first place, tech companies must collect vast amounts of data on human decisions. Data is what powers every AI system.
So any one company that can help with customers’ data issues is the one company that’s most worth investing in.
You don’t need to be an expert to take part. I’ll tell you everything you need to know, as well as my “buy” recommendation, in Growth Investor. My No. 1 stock for the AI trend is still under my buy limit price — so you’ll want to sign up now. Get in while it’s still cheap.
Louis Navellier had an unconventional start, as a grad student who accidentally built a market-beating stock system — with returns rivaling even Warren Buffett. In his latest feat, Louis discovered the “Master Key” to profiting from the biggest tech revolution of this (or any) generation. Louis Navellier may hold some of the aforementioned securities in one or more of his newsletters.