What happened

Shares of Uber Technologies (NYSE:UBER) popped 9.7% on Friday, following the release of its fourth-quarter results and subsequent conference call.

So what

The ridesharing giant saw revenue surge 37% year over year to $4.1 billion, which was in line with Wall Street's estimates. 

Uber continues to invest heavily in its growth initiatives, such as its Uber Eats food-delivery business. This resulted in a larger net loss of $1.1 billion, compared to $887 million in the year-ago quarter. However, Uber's net loss per share of $0.64 was smaller than analysts' expectations for a loss of $0.68 per share. 

A sharply rising stock chart

Uber's stock rose sharply higher on Friday. Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

What really caught investors' attention even more so than the earnings beat was Uber's prediction that it would become profitable on an adjustment basis one year earlier than it had previously forecasted.

During a conference call with analysts, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said that Uber could generate positive adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) by the fourth quarter of 2020. The company had previously targeted the end of 2021 for reaching adjusted EBITDA profitability. 

This represents a shift in focus from all-out growth to a more balanced approach. Khosrowshahi's comments in Uber's earnings release echoed this sentiment.

"We recognize that the era of growth at all costs is over," Khosrowshahi said. "In a world where investors increasingly demand not just growth, but profitable growth, we are well-positioned to win through continuous innovation, excellent execution, and the unrivaled scale of our global platform."