Following in the footsteps of Airbnb, Uber and other leading new-economy companies, DoorDash is sending a strong signal to the market about the sustainability of its business model.That said, even though it remains firmly anchored in double-digit territory, growth has slowed imperturbably over the past five quarters.

In the last quarter of 2022, the total value of transactions on DoorDash's marketplace grew by 29%, and sales by 40%. In the last quarter of 2023, the former grew by 22%, and the latter by 27%.

The basis of comparison is certainly demanding, since at the end of 2022 DoorDash was completing the digestion of Finnish Wolt in the $7 billion mega-transaction carried out a few months earlier, while the first half of the year saw orders benefit from the pandemic and confinements.

The San Francisco-based company also reports that its EBITDA "adjusted - but MarketScreener readers know how much we prefer to rely on concrete, unmanipulated figures to assess real financial performance.

In this respect, the financial statements remain in the red, with an operating loss of $579 million. There is some improvement, however, as the said operating loss has been halved in twelve months.

The number of shares rose by 6% over the period, driven of course by the traditional but prohibitive stock option remuneration. The latter amounted to $1.1 billion over the year, which must also be set against the $750 million spent on share buybacks to mitigate dilution.

As we wrote a few days ago in our commentary on Snapchat's results, these operations are designed to limit shareholder dilution rather than return capital, so it wouldn't be crazy to designate them as an operating expense instead.

As with virtually all major American technology companies, if these excesses in employee compensation were to cease, DoorDash would immediately reach a satisfactory level of profitability.But as things stand, as long as growth is on the cards, shareholders are happy to let employees capture the lion's share of value creation.