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Uber shares pop after the company scraps guidance and forecasts investment writedown

Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber, speaking at the 2019 WEF in Davos, Switzerland on Jan. 23rd, 2019.

Adam Galica | CNBC

Uber shares rose as much as 7% in extended trading on Thursday after the company said that it was withdrawing guidance given during its Q4 earnings call and warned that it expects an impairment charge because of declines in investments. 

The company’s ride-sharing and delivery businesses have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns, but Uber has given little guidance on the expected effects. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said on a call with analysts March 19 that booking declines in Seattle had reached 60% to 70% on an annualized basis.

Investors may be cheered by the relatively small effect of programs that Uber rolled out to help drivers during the pandemic. The company said it expects that program to reduce GAAP net income by an estimated $17 to $22 million in Q1 and an estimated $60 to $80 million in Q2. 

Uber also said it would take a one-time charge between $1.9 billion and $2.2 billion on the value of equity investments, affecting GAAP net loss by that amount. As of the end of last year, Uber had had stakes in Didi, Grab, Zomato, and its Yandex.Taxi joint venture, according to its annual report.

Last year, Uber reported $8.51 billion net loss, primarily because of stock-based compensation.

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