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March 8, 2021, 5:51 p.m. EST

Shift shares up 13% on bullish outlook

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By Maria Armental

Shift Technologies Inc.'s stock surged 13% to $8.65 in after-hours trading on record revenue during the December quarter and a bullish outlook for the year,spurred by a digital acceleration brought on by the pandemic.

"Shift's online solution for buying and selling used cars was well positioned to continue servicing customers when many others could not," the company said in a letter to investors.

The company, which started trading as a public company in October after combining with Insurance Acquisition Corp., reported fourth-quarter revenue more than doubled to a better-than-expected $73.4 million, driving an 18% revenue increase for the year, while unit sold also more than doubled in the quarter.

Meanwhile, net loss narrowed to $4.5 million, from $20.5 million, in the December quarter.

"While our Q4 top-line results and future outlook reflects Shift's ability to meet customer demand for our product offering, our profitability metrics reflect the reality of managing a high growth company and the challenges of operating in the COVID-19 environment," Chief Financial Officer Cindy Hanford said in a statement. "During the fourth quarter, we made certain decisions to position ourselves to improve operations and meet the market opportunity. We expect 2021 to be a big year for strategic milestones, continued revenue growth and improving unit economics as we scale the business."

Shift ended the year at a loss of $59.1 million on $195.7 million in revenue, compared with a loss of $80.5 million and $166.2 million in revenue a year earlier.

Shift expects first-quarter revenue to roughly triple from the year earlier to a range of $90 million to $95 million and top $450 million for the year, more than double 2020's levels and ahead of analysts' projected $391.9 million, according to FactSet.

Write to Maria Armental at maria.armental@wsj.com

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