Lyft Inc. overcame investors’ worst expectations Wednesday when it pushed closer to profitability and reported moderate growth of the ride-hailing business in a quarter partly marred by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
The San Francisco-based company reported a loss excluding interest, taxes and other costs of $85.2 million for the first quarter. That was a 61 percent reduction from a year ago. After the report, the stock gained as much as 18 percent in after-hours trading.
However, the virus significantly slowed Lyft’s growth machine. The company, accustomed to growth rates of more than 50 percent a quarter, said adjusted sales climbed 23 percent from last year, to $956 million.
Lyft only operates in the U.S. and Canada, which were largely spared from the virus until March. The situation in those countries worsened rapidly, and their governments issued guidance saying people should significantly curb travel. Transportation businesses, including Lyft’s, were…