What happened

Shares of Uber (NYSE:UBER) have plunged today, down by 9% as of 2:30 p.m. EST, after the company reported third-quarter earnings. The results beat expectations, but investors expressed skepticism that the ride-hailing leader can become profitable.

So what

Revenue came in at $3.8 billion, ahead of the $3.7 billion in sales that analysts were expecting. The company continues to post considerable losses, though, to the tune of $1.2 billion during the quarter, or $0.68 per share. That was less red ink than the $0.81-per-share loss that investors were bracing for. Gross bookings jumped 29% to $16.5 billion, and Uber now has 103 million monthly active platform consumers.

Uber app displayed on three smartphones

Image source: Uber.

In a statement, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said:

Our results this quarter decisively demonstrate the growing profitability of our Rides segment. Rides Adjusted EBITDA is up 52% year-over-year and now more than covers our corporate overhead. Revenue growth and take rates in our Eats business also accelerated nicely.

Now what

Uber also set an ambitious goal of becoming profitable on an adjusted EBITDA basis for full-year 2021, although the tech company was unable to provide much granular detail regarding achieving profitability. On the conference call with analysts, CFO Nelson Chai said Uber expects adjusted net revenue growth rates in the fourth quarter to accelerate to approximately 40%, and adjusted EBITDA for 2019 should be negative $2.8 billion to negative $2.9 billion, which is $250 million better than previously forecast.

The finance chief added that Uber would provide full-year 2020 guidance when the company reports fourth-quarter earnings results in a few months.