A net profit of $1.9 billion in 2023, compared with a loss of $9.1 billion in 2022, is a performance worth noting. Even if the 2022 accounts had been weighed down by an asset devaluation of around $7 billion.

The other figure to remember is the $1.4 billion in net income in Q4 2023, although there's a downside here too: $1 billion is linked to the upward revaluation of equity investments. Still, we're delighted with a 17% rise in annual sales, to $37.3 billion, well ahead of expectations, a 15% increase in the number of monthly active users (to 150 million), and 2.6 billion journeys made, up 24% year-on-year.

On the strength of these new milestones, the Californian company immediately announced a $7 billion share buyback. After several lean years, shareholders were delighted, and the company's shares rebounded nicely. At the time of writing, the stock was up 12%, +22% since January 1, and over 200% since the beginning of 2023.

The company is also taking revenge on its detractors, who pointed the finger at its $31.5 billion losses, especially in recent years marked by inflation and rising interest rates.

The benefits of maturity?

Delivery and passenger transport activities seem to have returned to normal in the various territories. And management assures us that this maturity (in the UK, the USA and Australia in particular) is not accompanied by a stagnation in the number of users - quite the contrary. In fact, there is still plenty of ground to conquer.

This normalization, combined with the financial benefits of artificial intelligence, has enabled the Group to unveil an encouraging outlook for the next three years. It is targeting growth in adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of between 30 and 40%, and promises that every quarter will be profitable from now on.

Analysts expect sales to rise sharply in 2024 and 2025, to around $43 and $50 billion, and EBITDA to around $6 and $8 billion respectively.

A broader range of activities

Virtually all segments, with the exception of freight activities - revenues down 17% - are in good health: delivery is up 17%, and the number of partner restaurants is up 10%.

Not losing sight of the need for growth relays, Uber has announced that it is betting on grocery delivery, which is still a minor business but already boasting an annual growth rate of over 40%, and on its Uber for Business (U4B) service solution for businesses.

At the end of 2023, the Group confirmed its commitment to the soft mobility and micro-mobility market (electric bikes and scooters), which it had timidly entered in 2018 with Jump. He continues this commitment, still modest, with the Lime and Cityscoot programs, without mentioning future strategic investments in this field. Finally, he did not specify whether he was considering a return to flying cabs, which he had abandoned in 2020, in his quest for profitability.