Lyft sees best week for rides since pandemic began, stock rises sharply

In the best sign yet of a recovery in ride hailing, Lyft Inc. said Tuesday that it saw its largest volume of rides since March 2020 last week, sending its shares higher in after-hours trading.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Lyft
said the week ending Feb. 28 “reached a new record level for 2021 and was the company’s best week since March 2020.” The company said that average daily rides volume in February rose 5.4% from January, excluding the week ending Feb. 21, when severe storms affected several U.S. states.

The performance led Lyft to change projections that were shared in its quarterly earnings report last month. Lyft now expects first-quarter ride volume to fall 1.2% quarter over quarter, as opposed to its expectation that it would fall 4%. The San Francisco-based company, which will next report earnings in May, says it now expects a first-quarter loss of $131 million, better than its previous forecast of a loss of $145 million to $150 million.

Lyft shares gained about 5% in extended trading after closing the day with a 0.5% drop at $57.06. The company’s stock is up more than 16% so far this year, and has risen more than 31% in the past three months, while the S&P 500 index
is up about 4% year to date.