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March 19, 2020, 10:33 a.m. EDT

Uber stock surges 30% after company touts cost advantages, says Hong Kong business is recovering

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By Emily Bary

Shares of Uber Technologies Inc. /zigman2/quotes/211348248/composite UBER +6.35% are surging almost 30% in Thursday trading after the company held an investor call to provide updates on the business amid the outbreak of COVID-19, the disease brought on by the novel coronavirus. Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi said that while the company at one point saw Hong Kong trips decline by 45% from their peak, trips in the country are now down 30%, signaling "the beginnings of a recovery." He also touted what he said were cost advantages for the company, asserting that if the company's rides business had declined 80% in the fourth quarter, the company would have broken even for the segment on the basis of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda). "That shows you the variable nature of our cost structure and how we can turn dials appropriately," Khosrowshahi said, according to a transcript provided by FactSet. The call comes as the company faces decreased demand in U.S. markets, including Seattle, where Khosrowshahi said bookings in the last few days have dropped by 60% to 70% from this time a year ago. Shares of peer Lyft Inc. /zigman2/quotes/208999293/composite LYFT -1.48% are up 14% in the session. Lyft's stock has dropped 60% over the past month, as Uber's has lost 53%. The S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.48% is down 29% in that time.

/zigman2/quotes/211348248/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 36.32
+2.17 +6.35%
Volume: 72.42M
May 29, 2020 3:59p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$62.98 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
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/zigman2/quotes/208999293/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 31.26
-0.47 -1.48%
Volume: 6.82M
May 29, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$9.59 billion
Rev. per Employee
$450,139
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/zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime
US : S&P US
3,044.31
+14.58 +0.48%
Volume: 4.38B
May 29, 2020 5:14p
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