Uber (Uber Stock Quote, Chart, News NYSE:UBER) has seen its ride-sharing service fly out the proverbial car window during the COVID-19 crisis but investors should be looking further down the road and seeing the company’s vast potential, says Rick Stuchberry, portfolio manager at Wellington-Altus Private Wealth.
Stuchberry says the footprint Uber has laid out so far is impressive.
“100 million customers,” Stuchberry said to BNN Bloomberg on Tuesday. “You know, the ride sharing thing is sort of dead for the time being, but Uber Eats is doing well and when you have that kind of critical mass there the opportunities are enormous.”
Uber launched its public offering last year to much fanfare and a disappointing follow-through, as investors began shying away from yet another tech company with growing revenue but with profits still a distant dream.
UBER finished 2019 down 29 per cent but the stock started to pick up ground in the new year, climbing almost all the way back to its IPO price of $42 per share by mid-February.
The momentum came as the company released early February quarterly numbers which saw strong revenue growth and a bumped ahead profitability forecast from management.
Uber’s fourth quarter saw its EPS loss decrease to $0.64 per share, better than expected by analysts at a loss of $0.68 per share, while revenue came in at $4.07 billion versus the expected $4.06 billion.
Perhaps more important was the forecast by management aiming for EBITDA profitability by Q4 2020 rather than the previous guidance of sometime in 2021. Uber’s share price jumped on the news.
But we all know how the story has played out since mid-February, with the market collapse and virtual shutdowns of economies worldwide in the face of COVID-19. Uber’s ride-sharing service has been hit hard, with the company saying that bookings are down by upwards of 70 per cent in some areas.
Yet not only does the company have huge cash reserves of $10 billion to keep it afloat while the pandemic persists, it has other segments on the go including UberEats, which the company keeps expanding internationally.
Last week, Uber announced the launch of Uber Eats for businesses, giving employers a way to serve up grub to employees working from home, and then, this week Uber expanded to offering telephone orders in the United States for food delivery, a complement to its phone ride-hailing service also launched recently in the US to allow those low-tech users to speak to a human operator instead of using a smartphone app.
Stuchberry says Uber is solidifying its position in the market, regardless of the COVID-19 environment and should do well longer term.
“We just put the [Uber] position on and this is a small position — we're not betting the farm here because the market could be sideways for a period of time,” Stuchberry said.
“But I think it's an opportunity to take advantage of some pretty significant pullbacks.”
“We think coming out the other side these are going to be places where money gets focused,” he said.