Guggenheim Analyst One Step Above Plant Life

I saw where Guggenheim analyst says LYFT will be profitable by 2021 instead of 2023. LYFT will still not be profitable in 2121 let alone 2021.

In all fairness, he is correct if you want to look at LYFT and UBER as technology plays but they are not, they are commodity plays.

A couple of questions for people who think LYFT and UBER raising prices is the cure all

1. Lets assume both raise prices. For the most part (unless you are a Guggenheim Analyst and make great money for being a moron), with the exception of very busy times, people will choose the cheaper option between LYFT and UBER. If you raise the price than you will lose market share to UBER. How long does it take an airline that raises prices to backtrack when nobody else in the industry does so? Try 2-4 days. Raising your pricing is a great idea if it doesn't effect the the volume of riders. But in MOST economic analysis I have seen, when prices go UP, DEMAND goes down. So raising the prices is a non-starter

2. If they UBER and LYFT raise prices than riders will start picking cheaper options like Ride Share and such. I will admit complete ignorance on this as I dont know if this is more profitable for the companies but the drivers love rideshare about as much as I respect the Guggenheim analyst. I know a few folks that drive and even if the app tries to hide that it is a rideshare from the driver, as soon as they can see it is a rideshare they cancel. People who opt for rideshare are very price sensitive and they will not respond well to raising prices. Personally I would rather take a Greyhound across the US than a Rideshare across town. Praising LYFT for raising prices is like giving Kroger a pat on the back for raising prices across the board. That would work until people realized the WalMart across the street had lower prices.

3. Someone seriously needs to explain to me how these companies are going to make money. Autonomous vehicles is NOT the answer because riders will demand lower pricing since the cost per unit is lower. If, by some miracle of miracles, LYFT and UBER were to keep prices at current rates with the lower cost of autonomous cars (see below another reason autonomous cars is a pipe dream), their margins would be very robust. If that is the case how long do you think it will take for the Fords, Chevys, Toyotas, Teslas, etc to enter the market and drive down the cost. NO MATTER YOUR COST BASE IN THIS BUSINESS YOU ARE LOOKING AT A 10% OPERATING MARGIN MAYBE.

A few other points that I think are important to point out since everyone thinks UBER and LYFT are the Bees Knees.

1. How much more can they seriously grow? Traffic congestion in cities where they are major operators is a huge issue. If these companies are going to grow 10-15% a year, where on God's Green Earth are they going to expand? DC? SFO? NYC? How long do you think it will be that SFO, DC and other bastions of liberalism limit the number of drivers each can have in their cities and working out of their airports. At some point, while it will not be a medallion per se, UBER and LYFT are going to be running under a "Restricted Supply" program in almost every major city.

2. The Autonomous Car Solution. Although the pipe dream of expanding margins has already been explained, here is another point. Currently there are roughly 3 Million drivers in the world for UBER and LYFT has about 1.4 Million. UBER is stronger internationally (in especially non-congested cities like London, Sao Paolo, etc) so lets just say 1 Million UBER drivers are US based and LYFT has 750K in the US. So, if these companies go autonomous they are going to displace over 1.5Million drivers in the US? Anyone care to bet the odds of that happening? We all know an airplane can fly itself but there are still two pilots so my guess is that all autonomous cars will be required to have a driver there as a "back up". So instead of saving money, the autonomous car would cost the same or more. We are a LONG WAY OFF from letting the roads run free with autonomous cars and trucks. The technology may be there in the next few years but it isnt going to happen in the real world.

The only positive thing I will say about LYFT is that UBER's market cap should be much closer to LYFT's $15B than its current $50B. If you love LYFT and UBER, I have some shares in ETOYS I would like to sell you as well.
Enron was a killer buy at $5/Share - that didnt turn out too well either. Any one who says a company is cheap at $50B that has over a Billion in losses shouldnt be legally allowed to drive for one of these two companies because I doubt they have the ability to feed themselves let alone drive a car.


And when autonomous cars and only them are allowed on the roads
companies with out debt will be formed and leave the debt ridden Ubers and LYFTs behind !
G13Man G13Man
@G13Man, PS , plus 1 for logic of ur presentation and well laid out thoughts !
@G13Man, sir thank you for the kind words. It is always nice to hear something from positive from someone who actually takes the time to read what I wrote. The one that didnt really hit me until my wife was complaining about traffic was the congestion issue. Also, we all know how great UBER has done in some of their international expansion
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