over 1 year ago • 3 mins
Uber posted record-breaking bookings at its quarterly update on Tuesday.
What does this mean?
The number of Uber’s monthly users hit a new peak last quarter, with the company reporting 24% more journeys than the same time last year. And with plenty of highly profitable airport trips among them, the value of bookings made on the platform – across its ride hailing, delivery, and freight offerings – also hit an all-time high, helping revenue more than double to $8 billion from the same time last year. Cue one last milestone: Uber – which has burned through around $25 billion since it was founded 13 years ago – finally posted its first ever positive cash flow last quarter. Investors have been dreaming of the day, and they sent its stock up 14%.
Why should I care?
Zooming in: Uber gives the drivers what they want.
Uber also said that more drivers and couriers were earning money on the platform than before the pandemic, which might be why wait times across a range of markets were at their lowest in a year in July. That suggests its recent efforts to improve the driver experience on the app has been paying off, and it’s not finished yet: the company announced new features last week that’ll allow drivers to choose the trips they want and see how much they’ll earn before accepting.
Zooming out: Prime the pump.
One thing Uber can’t do to make the experience any better is bring down fuel prices, which could see drivers reduce the number of hours they’re on the road. But one company’s risk is another company’s reward, and oil giant BP just posted its highest quarterly profit in 14 years on Tuesday – more than triple what it made the same time last year. That caps off a bumper set of profits from Big Oil, and could spark another call for tax increases on the industry.
Keep reading for our next story...
Social media platform Pinterest reported disappointing results earlier this week.
What does this mean?
There’s something heart-breaking about gazing at the places you could go, the interiors you could design, and the recipes you could cook at a time when travel, furniture, and food have become so pricey. So it follows that Pinteresters wouldn’t want to subject themselves to such temptation: the platform lost 5% of its monthly active users last quarter from the same time last year, compounded by stiffer competition from TikTok and a traffic-disrupting change in Google’s search algorithm. That left advertisers – already worried about dwindling consumer demand – with fewer users to target, leading them to bail on the platform. That might be why Pinterest’s revenue and profit missed forecasts, and why it gave a worse-than-expected revenue outlook for this quarter too.
Why should I care?
For markets: It’s who you know, not what you know.
Someone still believes in Pinterest: Elliott Management – an activist investor that uses its shareholder clout to influence the companies it buys into – revealed earlier this week that it had become Pinterest’s biggest investor, making the case that the company’s going in the right direction. That vote of confidence will have meant a lot to investors, which might be why Pinterest’s shares jumped 20% on the news.
The bigger picture: Pinterest’s future is bright.
Elliott might have seen some potential in Pinterest’s future plans: the social media platform intends to personalize the customer experience using AI, as well as make it easier for advertisers and retailers to sell on the site. Elliott might likewise be confident that rejuvenated leadership will help it do just that, with the company boasting a new CEO who made a name for himself at Alphabet and PayPal.
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