Uber grows in spite of scandals, but keeps bleeding cash

The company has a while to go before it's profitable.

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David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Uber's endless stream of scandals doesn't appear to have made much of a dent in its bottom line... not that the company is breaking out the champagne just yet. The ridesharing firm reports that its bookings surged in the second quarter of 2017 (150 percent more trips year-over-year, and 17 percent over the first quarter) despite a customer backlash, and it also managed to stem losses incurred from subsidizing fares and otherwise outdo its competition. However, those losses were still steep -- Uber 'only' lost $645 million in the second quarter versus $708 million in the first, and $991 million in the fourth quarter of last year.

Notably, Uber doesn't have to offer these numbers as a privately held company -- it's doing so in hopes of preparing itself for an eventual public stock offering.

The figures suggest that Uber is gradually reining in its costs, and it remains to be seen how both the ouster of Travis Kalanick and numerous policy reforms affect its finances in the long run. However, time is running out for the company unless it can find another big investor. Uber's cash stockpile shrank from $7.2 billion at the end of the first quarter to $6.6 billion this latest quarter. Needless to say, it can't afford to lose money at this rate for very long. Whoever the next CEO may be will have to turn things around quickly, whether it's trimming costs or getting another lifeline from financial backers.

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