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Tuesday Ticker: November 2, 2021

Toronto, Ontario ⁠— This week, Uber outperforms lift in the immediate aftermath of pandemic lockdowns; automakers announce Q3 losses across the board and Tesla CEO Elon Musk looks to solve world hunger with the UN’s assistance.

Do you even Lyft?

Market analysts say that Uber is outperforming Lyft as ridesharing ramps up from pandemic lows. As the two companies prepare to unveil their third-quarter results, analyst data suggests more spending on Uber⁠—which also hosts its food delivery business, UberEats⁠.

Citing Apptopia data, analysts said there were fewer downloads and sessions recorded on the Lyft app when compared to the Uber app, in the areas of both riding and driving. According to that data, Uber’s downloads have even surpassed pre-pandemic levels, with a 14 percent increase year-over-year.

Lyft’s app downloads lag behind its pre-pandemic levels and have decreased 12 percent year-over-year. 

RBC Capital Markets analysts say Uber is delivering riders to their destinations faster than Lyft⁠—and for a lower cost.  

Some analysts also suggest that the incentives offered to drivers have been more beneficial for Uber’s business.

“Uber’s more proactive investments in driver supply may be bearing fruit, which could lead to some share loss for Lyft,” said RBC Capital Markets’ Brad Erickson in a note to investors. 

Automaker break-down

Many automakers released financial results for the third quarter of 2021 last week, with the majority of OEMs experiencing severe declines in profits and income thanks to the semiconductor chip shortage.

Ford said last Wednesday its third-quarter net incoming fell 24 percent to US$1.8 billion due to the microchip shortage, though “strong demand” allowed the automaker to raise its full-year guidance and reinstate a quarterly cash dividend. The company also reported adjusted earnings of US$3 billion before interest and taxes, down from US$3.6 billion the same period in 2020.

General Motors also reported its Q3 numbers last Wednesday, where it announced a 40 percent decrease in net income. Net income for the quarter was US$2.4 billion, while revenues also dropped 25 percent year-over-year to US$26.8 billion.

Stellantis marked a 14 percent fall in third-quarter sales, but the automaker nonetheless moved to confirm its full-year target for a 10 percent profit margin. Revenue for the company was US$37.8 billion, and the full-year toll of lost production due to the chip shortage is now predicted to be more than 1.4  million units, said Stellantis CFO Richard Palmer.

Hungry for change

Elon Musk has offered to sell some of his Tesla shares following a challenge from the UN World Food Programme Director David Beasley, who dared the ultra-wealthy to “step up now, on a one-time basis” to solve world hunger.

Following the challenge, Musk sent out a tweet saying, “If the World Food Programme can describe on this Twitter thread exactly how US$6 billion would solve world hunger, I will sell Tesla stock right now and do it. But it must be open source accounting so the public sees precisely how the money is spent.” 

Beasley replied to Musk’s post on Twitter, saying he could assure the billionaire that the WFP had the systems in place for transparency and open source accounting.

“Your team can review and work with us to be totally confident of such,” he said.

“US$6 billion will not solve world hunger, but it will prevent geopolitical instability, mass migration and save 42 million people on the brink of starvation. An unprecedented crisis and a perfect storm due to Covid/conflict/climate crises,” he added.

As of Monday, Musk had a net worth of $311 billion, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index, making him the richest man in the world.

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