Lyft’s Good News Overshadowed by Mega-Typo

It’s a well-known fact that typos can be embarrassing and frustrating, and as ride-sharing company Lyft recently discovered. They can also make people forget about the good news in a financial report.

Lyft’s press release announcing its fourth quarter and full-year 2023 financial results, published before the company’s call with investors, initially caused its stock to soar more than 60% after-hours, reaching a high of $19.70. However, the company’s CFO, Erin Brewer, quickly corrected a crucial typo in the earnings call, stating that the adjusted EBITDA margin expansion for 2024 was meant to be 50 basis points (0.5%) instead of 500 basis points (5%).

This correction caused the company’s stock to tumble, dropping to $14.05 by Tuesday evening and $12.13 in early morning trading on Wednesday, down 2.18% from the previous day’s close.

Despite the disastrous typo, the financial report itself was quite positive. Lyft reported that gross bookings grew to $13.8 billion, a 14% increase year-over-year, while revenue grew to $4.4 billion, an 8% increase from last year. The company also had more riders than ever in its history, with 40 million people using the service, and it expected to generate positive free cash flow in 2024 for the first time.

“We’ve entered 2024 with a lot of momentum and a clear focus on operational excellence,” said CFO Erin Brewer in the earnings call.

Unfortunately, the typo overshadowed the good news in the report, leaving many to wonder what could have been if not for the unfortunate mistake.

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