Uber lost $2.8 billion past year

Uber lost $2.8 billion last year

Uber declined to report first-quarter numbers, saying they were in line with expectations but that it hasn't yet presented them to investors.

After a string of corporate crises, Uber is taking the unusual step of releasing financials to highlight its business growth.

For all the turbulence that Uber has experienced in the past year-allegations of sexism, an executive exodus, a lawsuit that could throw a wrench in the company's plans to develop self-driving cars-one thing has remained constant: Uber, the world's most valuable tech company at $68 billion, is still losing a startling amount of money.

Being a privately held company, Uber did not have to disclose its finances publicly; past reports of the company's financial situation were the result of document leaks.

For the final quarter of 2016, gross bookings increased 28 per cent from the previous quarter, to $US6.9 billion. Unfortunately, the last quarter of 2016 followed its earnings' overall trend for the year, and the losses for that period were 6.1 percent higher at $991 million.

The company is in the process of hiring a chief operating officer to help Kalanick manage the company, fix its tarnished image and improve its culture. As Columbia University business professor Evan Rawley told Bloomberg: "That's a lot of cash to burn in a quarter".

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Using the figure of $3.8 billion as a loss, Uber had a profit margin during 2016 of -58.5%.

Uber's loss statement also "doesn't account for employee stock compensation, certain real-estate investments, automobile purchases and other expenses".

Accounting note: While Uber only counts the commission it takes from private rides as part of its revenue, it counts the full price of the ride in the case of UberPool, its carpooling service. The more Uber's business shifts to the multipassenger service, the faster revenue grows.

Valued at $69 billion by investors, Uber operates in about 75 countries. It sold the China business in August to Didi Chuxing, receiving an 18 percent stake in the Chinese company.

Since it was founded in 2009, Uber has burned through at least $8 billion. The company said it has $7 billion of cash on hand, and $2.3 billion in untapped credit.

Still, there's something fishy about Uber's balance sheet and some of the accounting behind the numbers the company selectively chose to share.

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