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DoorDash losses surge in first earnings report since going public. | Press "Enter" to skip to content

DoorDash losses surge in first earnings report since going public.

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In its first earnings report as a public company, DoorDash showed how it has benefited from the pandemic even as it hinted that difficulties may lie ahead.

The delivery company on Thursday posted revenue of $970 million for the fourth quarter, up 226 percent from a year earlier, as total orders jumped 233 percent over the same period. The company’s fortunes have been buoyed by the pandemic, as people have stayed home to keep safe from the coronavirus and have used DoorDash to order in food and other items.

Yet it also reported a loss of $312 million, compared with a loss of $134 million from a year ago. The company, which went public in December, said it increased spending on advertising, acquiring customers, research and development and other expenses.

More important, DoorDash warned that the boost it has experienced from the pandemic may fade. The widespread availability of vaccines in the coming months, the company said, would likely create “headwinds” to growth.

“We expect declines in consumer engagement and average order values, though the precise amount remains unclear,” the company said.

The cautionary notes sent DoorDash’s stock tumbling nearly 13 percent in after-hours trading.

Beyond the short-term effect of the pandemic, DoorDash faces other challenges. Restaurant owners have complained that DoorDash’s fees, often 30 percent of orders, are too high to cover their costs. Some cities, including Cleveland, Denver and Chicago, have passed temporary measures to curb the fees that delivery apps charge during the pandemic. DoorDash has responded by charging extra fees to customers in those cities.


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