What happened

Shares of Lyft (NASDAQ:LYFT) climbed 5% on Wednesday after the ridesharing company posted expectation-topping fourth-quarter results.

So what

Lyft's revenue fell 44% year over year to $569.9 million, as COVID-19 continued to take a toll on its business. However, Lyft's revenue did rise 14% sequentially, as the economy recovered. Moreover, Wall Street had expected revenue of only $563 million.

The ridesharing leader's losses were also better than expected. Lyft produced an EBITDA loss of $150 million, which was an $89.7 million improvement from the third quarter. It also bested analysts' estimates, which had called for an EBITDA loss of $185 million.

A person is pointing to a chart that rises, then falls, and then rises again.

Lyft's fourth-quarter results showed a marked improvement from prior quarters. Image source: Getty Images.

With demand for rides reduced during the pandemic, Lyft has worked to cut expenses and lower its overall cost structure to weather the downturn.

"Despite the difficult backdrop in 2020, we continued to focus on improving our business for the long-term," Lyft CEO Logan Green said in a press release. "The progress we've made has been significant and I believe we are now in a stronger position than at any time in our past."

Now what

Lyft expects coronavirus vaccination programs to accelerate the economy's recovery in the second half of 2021. In turn, chief financial officer Brian Roberts said Lyft could achieve adjusted EBITDA profitability as early as the third quarter, though he cautioned that doing so "would require a strong summer rebound."

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