SAN FRANCISCO — After years of losing money, Uber is inching toward profitability.
Uber said it lost $1.1 billion in the last three months of 2017 on revenue of $11.05 billion — results that reflect a steady improvement in the company’s financial position, with revenues growing and losses narrowing. In the preceding quarter, Uber lost $1.46 billion on revenue of $9.7 billion.
Uber disclosed its quarterly results less than a week after it settled a trade secrets lawsuit with Waymo, the self-driving car unit of Google’s parent company, Alphabet. The settlement and Uber’s improving finances indicate that the company is pushing to meet its goal for an initial public offering as soon as next year.
As a private company, Uber is not obligated to disclose its financial results. It provides a fairly comprehensive earnings statement, but it omits some data that would be revealing, like user growth and a breakdown of the performance of its ride-hailing service versus its food-delivery business.
Based on a financial earnings criteria excluding expenses like stock-based compensation — a significant portion of how Uber rewards its employees — the company said it lost $475 million in the fourth quarter compared with a loss of $607 million in the prior three-month period.
“We’re incredibly encouraged by our financial performance and excited by our long-term potential to serve riders, drivers and cities,” said Matt Kallman, an Uber spokesman.
During the fourth quarter, Uber’s biggest shareholders agreed to sell a significant stake in the company to a consortium led by SoftBank Group. The new investors valued the company at $48 billion, a discount on its lofty valuation of $70 billion that came before a series of scandals led to the ouster of Travis Kalanick, its former chief executive and co-founder.
Uber also said it has roughly $6 billion in cash — including $1.4 billion in money set aside for potential insurance claims — at the end of 2017, compared with $6.9 billion in cash at the end of 2016.