What happened

Shares of DoorDash (NYSE:DASH), the food-delivery company that took America by storm (and conducted a blockbuster IPO) in 2020 and helped quarantining diners survive the pandemic, is having a great day Thursday: Its shares are up 9.5% in 1:50 p.m. EST trading.

There doesn't, however, appear to be any good reason for that.

A glowing green arrow climbs on a stock screen.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Oh, not no reasons at all. There's the generalized optimism of a nation that just survived an apparent constitutional crisis on Wednesday and came out intact. There's also now the virtual certainty that we'll have a U.S. Senate and House unified under one-party rule, with that same party also in the White House, which promises to stimulate the U.S. economy in a big way this year -- perhaps up to and including by mailing out $2,000 stimulus checks to U.S. taxpayers.

And suffice it to say that $2,000 can buy a lot of takeout.

On top of all that, this morning, investment bank BTIG came out with a higher price target on Uber Technologies (NYSE:UBER) stock. Sure, Uber isn't DoorDash -- in fact, the two companies are bitter rivals -- but as TheFly.com just reported, in making its recommendation, BTIG raised its projections for 2022 to 2025 delivery bookings in general and pointed to investor enthusiasm for DoorDash stock as a reason to like Uber as well.

Now what

Should investors like DoorDash stock, though? (Should they even like Uber?)

Impressive revenue growth notwithstanding, neither company is actually earning any sort of a GAAP profit. That being said, in clear contrast to Uber, which burned through $4.4 billion in negative free cash flow over the last 12 months, S&P Global Market Intelligence data shows that in the same period, DoorDash generated $42 million in positive cash profits.

Sure, you can argue that $42 million isn't a lot of money for a company with the $48.6 billion market cap that DoorDash has. Indeed, it works out to a mind-numbingly high price-to-free cash flow ratio of 1,157! But at least it's a positive number. That's more than Uber can say...and it could be a good reason to prefer DoorDash stock over Uber.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.