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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Lyft posted a much larger loss than analysts expected, though it beat revenue estimates, in its third quarter results reported Tuesday. But on a call with analysts, the company pointed to its recent legislative victory in California and the potential it sees in expanding its foray into delivery as signs of better times ahead.

Why it matters A week ago, Lyft and other gig companies got California voters to back a ballot proposal that cements their drivers' status as independent contractors, which is central to the companies' business models.

Meanwhile: Lyft also touted its burgeoning delivery business, which it began during the pandemic as demand for ride-hailing suddenly plummeted.

  • According to Zimmer, Lyft prefers to stick to a business-to-business approach rather than build out a consumer-facing service. He took a jab at rival Uber's food delivery service for charging restaurants a commission for deliveries and access to its marketplace.
  • Yes, but: Lyft also touted during the call its month-old partnership with food delivery company GrubHub — which charges restaurants fees in line with Uber Eats and other peers, and was recently sued by restaurants for providing delivery without their permission.

The big picture: Unlike Uber, Lyft has stuck to ride-hailing (plus bike and scooter rentals), and didn't have an established delivery business to turn to when the pandemic hit.

  • Nevertheless, the company said it still projects reaching EBITDA profitability in next year's fourth quarter.

By the numbers:

  • Loss per share: $1.46, compared to $0.91 expected, per Yahoo Finance.
  • Revenue: $499.7 million, compared to $486.45 million expected, per Yahoo Finance.
  • Active riders: 12.5 million, down 44% year-over-year.
  • Revenue per active rider: $39.94, down 7% year-over-year.

Lyft's stock price traded about 5% higher in after-market hours.

Listen: Zimmer speaks to Axios' Re:Cap podcast about what comes next for the gig economy

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 29, 2021 - Economy & Business

Chevron posts another quarterly loss under weight of pandemic

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Chevron posted another quarterly loss Friday in the latest sign of how the pandemic is still weighing on oil companies despite some price recovery during the second half of the year.

Driving the news: The oil giant reported a $665 million loss for the October-December period, but it shrinks to $11 million on an adjusted basis after considering charges on its acquisition of Noble Energy and "foreign currency effects."

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Over 70 dead in worst bombardments between Israel and Hamas for years

Palestinian Muslims exchange wishes for Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, near a razed building in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahia, on May 13. Israeli forces said they had killed a senior Hamas commander in May 12 airstrikes. Gaza's health ministry said children died in the strikes. Photo: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

At least 67 Palestinians and seven Israelis have been killed in fighting between Israel's military and Hamas since Monday, per Reuters.

The big picture: The worst aerial exchanges of fire between Israel and Hamas since 2014 continued into early Thursday. It comes days after escalating violence in Jerusalem that injured hundreds of Palestinians and several Israeli police officers during protests over the planned evictions of Palestinian families from their homes.

Biden admin grants Colonial waiver to ease fuel shortages

Fuel tanks at Colonial Pipeline Baltimore Delivery in Baltimore, Maryland on Monday. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration approved a temporary waiver of shipping requirements late Wednesday to help Colonial Pipeline transport fuel, as service resumes across the U.S. following last week's ransomware attack that that took it offline.

Why it matters: The century-old Jones Act requires ships to be built in the U.S. and crewed by American workers, but the waiver means foreign companies can transport gasoline and diesel to areas where there are fuel shortages.

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