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Uber expects adjusted EBITDA loss of up to $3.2B in 2019, CFO says

Uber Technologies Inc. expects adjusted EBITDA loss of up to $3.2 billion in 2019, CFO Nelson Chai said during the company's post-earnings call.

However, net revenue growth rates are expected to improve in the second half of the year, Chai said. The company expects gross bookings in the range of $65 billion to $67 billion for the year.

In the second quarter of 2019, San Francisco-based Uber posted adjusted net revenue of $2.87 billion and a net loss of $5.24 billion. The company said that included a $298 million driver appreciation award in connection with the IPO, along with $3.9 billion of stock-based compensation expenses.

Excluding those costs and other expenses, Uber's adjusted EBITDA loss was $656 million, up from $292 million in the prior-year quarter.

Chai said on the company's earnings call that the loss would have been smaller.

"We had a very strong second quarter on the rides contribution, and again, if you deduct that from what we call our corporate overhead … the loss would've been $100 million," the CFO said, adding that it should give investors a sense of the path to profitability.

For the rest of 2019, Chai said Uber expects the ride-hailing market to remain stable.

"We believe the profitability of the ride business will prove out," Chai said.

During the call, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said the company is looking at its marketing and incentive spending and how it can leverage the business going forward. "There are always trade-offs to be made in life, but I think that we can make the trade-offs where we can scale expenses and/or get far more efficient in our marketing and incentive spend while improving the bottom line of the company," he said.