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A Weekend Getaway with Uber's IPO

Reading a company's S-1 is like going away with a special someone for the first time. You find out their major risks, detailed financials, and how much they hog the covers.
The Brew’s office morphed into an upstate B&B yesterday when Uber made its IPO docs public. It plans to list on the NYSE under the ticker “UBER” next month.

What wasn’t totally new

Uber has self-reported unaudited financials for a while now, so the S-1 filingwas more about details and context than groundbreaking stats. For good measure:
  • In 2018, Uber reported an adjusted loss of $1.85 billion on revenue of $11.27 billion.
  • Compare that to a net loss of $4.03 billion on $7.93 billion in 2017 revenue.
Uber didn’t disclose the valuation it’s seeking, but Wall Street whispers have suggested $100 billion is the magic number. It was last privately valued at $76 billion.

What we did learn

  1. Uber isn’t prepared to turn a profit anytime soon. So it says: “We expect our operating expenses to increase significantly...and we may not achieve profitability.”
  2. Uber is burning through cash as it cuts prices and spends gobs on recruiting to “remain competitive in certain markets.”
Bottom line: Uber’s once-phenomenal growth is slowing. But it’s also investing in ancillary businesses like food delivery, scooters, and driverless cars. And when it does go public in (what looks like) early May, it’ll probably be the biggest IPO since Alibaba in 2014.
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  • J. Crew is exploring an IPO for its Madewell brand.
  • Marijuana use among U.S. workers has increased 16% since 2014 as more states legalize it, per Quest Diagnostics.
  • Hulu is creating a limited series about disgraced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes—who will be played by SNL star Kate McKinnon.
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 2020 hopeful, has proposed a new tax on corporations: a 7% surcharge on those making more than $100 million.
  • Amazon (-0.18%) CEO Jeff Bezos challenged “top retail competitors” to raise wages in his annual letter to shareholders. Then Walmart’s (+1.20%) Dan Bartlett tweeted the Bezos story and said, “How about paying your taxes?”


  1. I actually used to drive for Uber and it honestly wasn't worth my time. That's why I quit and actually took up stock trading as a hobby/way to maybe make money. Better use of my time.

  2. It's so sad that something like this is not doing great. I think it's the rising gas prices that are causing it all. The oil industry really has too much power right now.

  3. Perhaps they are not going through their best time, but undoubtedly Uber tries to diversify their investments and services. We'll see what happens

  4. I think Uber going public is going to be great. I see a bunch of potential growth for it in the future through food delivery.