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Oct 22, 2019

Lyft forecasts a profit by end of 2021, sending shares surging

A Lyft driver navigates to her passenger in San Francisco.

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Lyft Inc. executives said the company would turn a profit by the end of 2021, a year earlier than analysts had expected. The comments sent the stock surging as much as 9 per cent on Tuesday.

The ride-hailing company will hit that milestone because it’s focused on profitable growth, rather than scale at all costs, the founders said onstage at a Wall Street Journal technology conference in Laguna Beach, California. Lyft and Uber Technologies Inc. have been cutting back on subsidies for riders and drivers that had been racking up costs.

“We’ve never laid out our path to profitability, and we know that’s a question on a lot of investors’ minds,” said Logan Green, the chief executive officer and co-founder. “We’re going to be profitable on an adjusted Ebidta basis a year before analysts expect us to. We’re going to hit this target in Q4 2021.”

The comments also gave a boost to Uber’s stock, which was up about 4 per cent at 1 p.m. in New York.

In the interview, Lyft’s co-founders downplayed other challenges to the company, including the recent gig worker legislation in California and lawsuits by women against the company who say they were harassed or assaulted by drivers.