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Uber lost more than $5 billion last quarter -- its biggest loss ever

Inside Uber's secret self-driving car center

Uber lost $5.2 billion in the second quarter—the ride-hailing giant's biggest loss ever—thanks to huge stock-based payouts in the months following the company's ballyhooed stock market debut in May.

Uber said Wednesday it paid $3.9 billion in stock-based compensation and expenses during the quarter. It also paid $298 million in stock and cash to drivers to show appreciation in connection with the IPO.

The loss per share, including those expenses totaled $4.72. Uber's revenue for the period rose 14% to $3.1 billion.

"We could push the company to break even if we wanted to, frankly, but I think what you will see from us is...lower losses going forward while at the same time we aggressively invest in new growth levers," said Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi in a conference call. "But there's no doubt in my mind that eventually the business will be a break even and profitable business."

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Uber shares dropped 5% in after-hours trading to $40.63.

Although revenue for the company's Uber Eats food-delivery service rose 72% to $595 million. Khosrowshahi said he doesn't expect the Eats business to be profitable next year or the year after. However, growth in its ride business "is going to turn more profitable over the next couple years," he said. "That will allow us to invest aggressively in the Eats business and also carry a bottom line that improves."

Ride-sharing revenue grew just 2% to $2.3 billion because of the one-time driver appreciation payments, the company said.

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