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Uber is ready to start moving some serious weight

5 months ago by Jon Marino in Earnings

Uber ($NYSE:UBER) is about to start moving some serious weight - and not just because Americans keep getting fatter.

Our first chart tracks how many Apple ($NASDAQ:AAPL) App store ratings were made by number for Uber Freight - which is very different and totally separate from Uber's taxi app, or Uber Eats, for that matter. The company's business segments are separated into 'Core Platform,' which includes the behemoth ridesharing business and Uber Eats; and 'Other Bets,' including Freight, and rent-able bikes and scooters. 

Uber Freight has seen app reviews submitted at a greater rate than either of these other, separate Uber apps, in 2019; 54%, in fact. Each rating isn't that of a 'passenger;' it belongs to an entire business and represents Uber scaling the enterprise side of the company. Not every user translates to an app review - nor does every user necessarily run off Apple - so Uber's Freight division may be growing at a far greater pace than the chart reflects. Uber Freight is a key driver in the company's future - and CEO Dara Khosrowshahi knows it.

“[T]he Uber brand is a brand that everybody knows all around the world and we have already built two multibillion dollar services on the Uber brand and we think Freight will be a third,” he said on the company’s most recent call in late May. 

Uber is staffing up as its Freight user base expands. And since 2018, the company's job postings rose 325% as it looked to build a supply chain and logistics play. Along with nearly every other category of hiring, Freight job postings dipped - but far less than job postings fell overall at Uber, as its shares also dipped in the first half of 2019.

At a time when the mega-ride-sharing startup's IPO is underperforming market benchmarks, and as other tech companies are enjoying post-market-debut stock surges, Uber hiring has slumped as the company confronts a challenging growth story. And as our last chart shows, it coincides with a drop in hiring overall. Since the IPO, job postings at Uber have fallen about 17%.

When Uber reports earnings August 8, analysts are looking for greater losses than its first quarterly earnings report, of -$3.33 per share. But investors should be looking for Uber to keep on truckin'. 

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

Further Reading: 

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Jon Marino

Jon Marino is Thinknum's finance editor, covering the impacts of alternative data on public companies and investors. Prior to joining Thinknum, Jon worked in the ...

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