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Lyft Rises Nealy 9% on May Ridership Figures, New EBITDA Forecast

By Eric Volkman – Jun 4, 2020 at 9:29AM

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The lifting of certain "stay in place" mandates benefited the rideshare giant.

Lyft (LYFT -2.30%) was a rideshare star on the stock market Wednesday, following the previous day's after-market release of its latest business update.

In that document, the company said its number of rides in May increased by 26% over the April figure. It also revised its adjusted EBITDA guidance for the current Q2; the company now believes the loss in that line item will not exceed $325 million, if average daily ridership for June matches May's level. Previously, Lyft guided for a maximum loss of $360 million.

A Lyft car full of riders.

Image source: Lyft.

It nearly goes without saying that the improvements are due to the relaxation of "stay in place" measures stemming from the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic. Although the monthly ridership numbers improved significantly on a month-over-month basis, they were still down considerably from the pre-outbreak days -- compared to May 2019, the number of rides cratered by 70%.

Lyft said, unsurprisingly, that the most robust growth in May ridership occurred in cities where coronavirus-related limits on personal movement had been lifted. Monthly growth was particularly high in Austin (73% higher than April's result), Nashville (64%), Miami (59%), and Las Vegas (54%).

Much of this growth can be attributed to people getting back to work and doing more shopping.

"Since mid-March... the actions instituted by government authorities to limit the spread of COVID-19 have impacted the relative distribution of intra-week rides," the company wrote. "Riders are taking relatively more rides on weekdays versus weekends, including commute trips by essential workers as well as trips to stores selling essential goods."

On Wednesday, Lyft's shares closed the day nearly 9% higher, topping the performance of many

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Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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