Lyft's stock pain an ominous sign for Uber IPO

An Uber driver using the Uber app on her phone

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Barely two weeks into its life as a public company, Lyft Inc. shares have been sliding fast with bigger rival Uber Technologies Inc. breathing down its neck.

The filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission revealed Uber had 91 million average monthly active users on its platforms, including for ride-hailing and Uber Eats, at the end of 2018.

Seemingly chastened by Lyft's experience, Uber is expected to aim for a lower valuation, as well as a more generous initial price.

Uber Technologies Inc. filed for an initial public offering, starting the clock on what's expected to be the biggest USA listing this year. Lyft's stock now is hovering around $61, down from its IPO price of $72. It said its revenue previous year rose 42 per cent to reach $US11.3 billion ($NZ16.8b), and it achieved a $US1b profit, derived from selling some of its overseas businesses. The company hasn't yet disclosed the number of shares it will offer or its intended price range.

But Uber's operating losses declined from $4 billion in 2017 to $3 billion in 2018, indicating it could be heading in the right direction.

The massive filing shows Uber has been generating the robust revenue growth that entices investors, but also racked up almost $8 billion in losses over its 10 years in existence, which mirrors the same trend challenging Lyft, Uber's main rival in the U.S.

Uber is expected to fetch up to $10bn (£7.6bn) in the listing, which could reportedly occur in May and value the company at up to $120bn.

Uber set a placeholder amount of $1 billion but did not specify the size of the IPO. Polish taxi drivers held up traffic in Monday to call attention to their message that Uber drivers represent unfair competition, reported The Associated Press.

Among other things, Uber revealed the U.S. Justice Department is conducting a criminal investigation into a yearlong cover-up of a massive computer break-in during 2016 that heisted personal information belonging to millions of passengers and drivers.

Stateside, the aforementioned Los Angeles strike had participants who drive for both Lyft and Uber. Khosrowshahi joined Uber in 2017 to replace company co-founder Travis Kalanick who was ousted as CEO.

Uber said in its filing its ridesharing position in the United States and Canada was "significantly impacted by adverse publicity events" and that its position in many markets has been threatened by discounts from other ride-hailing companies.

Most of the shares sold would be issued by the company, while a smaller portion would be owned by investors cashing out, one of the sources said.

Since its launch in 2009, Uber has aimed for global dominance of the ride-hailing industry through investor-subsidised fares and new ventures such as food delivery and self-driving vehicles.

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