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An earnings typo sent Lyft's stock price into the stratosphere

In an absolutely bananas turn of events, a typo in an earnings report caused Lyft shares to skyrocket nearly 70 percent after Tuesday’s closing stock market bell, as reported by CBS. There was an extra zero in the report that suggested a five percent margin expansion in 2024, instead of a .5 percent margin. This sent investors into a tizzy, as the company has long struggled to turn a profit.

The mistake was even present in Lyft’s slide deck, which was part of that earnings report, and an accompanying press release. The company quickly corrected the mistake, calling it a clerical error, but the stock surge had already begun. Lyft CFO Erin Brewer addressed the issue in an earnings call yesterday evening which caused the stocks to reverse course. It’s worth noting that the earnings report was still good news for Lyft, even without that mistake, so the stock price experienced a more stable increase of around 35 percent.

Now, onto the blame game. Lyft CEO David Risher appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box to take responsibility for the mistake, saying “look, it was a bad error, and that’s on me.” Risher went on to note that it was “super frustrating” for everyone on the team and said that he could see a fellow employee’s “jaw drop” when discovering the issue.

The good news? Even with that adjustment, this is Lyft’s best day since the company’s initial IPO offering back in 2019. Yesterday’s earnings report indicated $1.22 billion in revenue for the quarter, an increase of four percent from last year. Bookings increased 17 percent for the quarter, accounting for $3.7 billion. Risher called it a “great quarter.”

A misplaced zero on a spreadsheet isn’t the ridesharing giant’s only concern. Thousands of Lyft and Uber drivers are going on strike today to demand better pay and safer working conditions. The striking workers are primarily clustered around ten major US airports, though it’s only planned to last for a few hours.

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