By Micah Maidenberg
Lyft Inc. said demand for rides has risen in recent weeks as people began venturing out following Covid-19 lockdowns but remains well below levels seen a year earlier.
Lyft said Tuesday the number of rides ordered through its platform last month was 70% weaker compared with May of last year. Demand rose 26% last month compared with April, however, driven in part by gains in cities including Austin, Texas; Nashville, Tenn.; and New York.
Rideshare trips increased week-over-week for seven consecutive weeks since the week that ended April 12, the company said.
Shares of Lyft rose 4.2% in after-hours trading Tuesday. The stock ended the regular session at $31.68.
The coronavirus pandemic has hit Lyft and its main rival, Uber Technologies Inc., hard. Shelter-in-place orders earlier this year decimated both companies' businesses, sending ridership plunging and complicating their efforts to generate profits.
In April, Lyft said it would reduce about 17% of its workforce, furlough employees and lower pay. Uber said in early May that it would eliminate 3,700 positions. About two weeks later, it said it would lay off some 3,000 people and close more than three dozen offices.
Since mid-March, when the U.S. economy began to shut down as the coronavirus spread, Lyft said riders have ordered more rides during weekdays compared with weekends, including from employees commuting to still-open job sites and consumers visiting stores deemed essential to pick up goods.
In a regulatory filing Tuesday, the company reported stronger demand during recent weekends as officials eased restrictions on activities in different parts of the country.
"Rideshare rides during the weekend ended May 31st increased 36% versus the weekend ended April 26th and 53% versus the weekend ended April 12th, " Lyft said. Bike rides ordered through the Lyft platform more than doubled in May compared with April, the company said.
The company said that for its second quarter it expects to report a loss, on the basis of adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, of not more than $325 million, assuming volumes this month are unchanged compared with May. Previously the company anticipated losing no more than $360 million for the quarter.
Write to Micah Maidenberg at email@example.com