Lyft jumps as company marks best week for rides since the start of the pandemic

Lyft employee
  • Lyft shares picked up more than 6% Wednesday following an upbeat February-trends update. 
  • Rideshare volume toward the end of February had its best week since pandemic lockdowns began in March 2020. 
  • Lyft forecast an adjusted EBITDA loss of $US135 ($173) million, which is narrower than its previous loss projection of up to $US150 ($192) million. 
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Lyft stock rose Wednesday after the company said it’s logged its strongest period for rides in nearly a year, since the US began a wave of lockdowns to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Ridesharing volume in the week ended February 28 “was the company’s best week since March 2020,” Lyft said in a February business update released late Tuesday.

Lyft shares rose as much as 6.5% to $US60.80 ($78) each during morning trade. The stock so far this year has gained 16% and has climbed by nearly 42% over the past 12 months.

The update highlighted broadly held expectations that business conditions throughout the country will improve as COVID-19 vaccinations accelerate. More than 78 million people in the US have already received the vaccine, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As well, economists have said direct fiscal stimulus payments to Americans have helped bolster spending. The US Senate is considering passing a $US1.9 ($2) trillion stimulus package following its approval in the House last week. A $US900 ($1,155) billion coronavirus relief bill was finalized in December.

Lyft said average daily rideshares in February increased 4% month over month. Excluding the week of February 21 during which severe weather storms hit a number of states, average daily rideshares were up 5.1% compared with January’s volume.

The company expects ridesharing volume beginning the week ending on March 21 to show positive year-on-year growth. “This growth trend is expected to continue through the duration of 2021 barring a significant worsening of COVID-19 conditions,” said Lyft in its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

It also said it “can manage” its adjusted EBITDA loss to $US135 ($173) million in the first quarter. That figure is narrower than its previous projection of a loss between $US145 ($186) and $US150 ($192) million.

The company plans to release financial results for the first quarter ending March 31 in early May.