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Earnings Results: DoorDash reports record Q2 sales but predicts slowdown in orders

DoorDash Inc. on Thursday said its gross order volume and total orders hit new records in the second quarter as demand for delivery remained strong even as in-restaurant dining resumed, though it forecast a drop-off in the third quarter.

Gross order volume rose 70% year over year to $10.5 billion, beating analysts’ average expectation of $9.78 billion, and total orders increased 69% to $345 million. Revenue climbed 83% to $1.2 billion from $675 million in the year-ago quarter.

“Consumers ordered more than they ever have in the history of the company,” Chief Financial Officer Prabir Adarkar told MarketWatch. “We generated more sales than ever in our history.”

But the company swung to a net loss of $102 million, or 30 cents a share, largely from employees being allowed to sell their shares after the company went public in December. That compares with profit of $23 million in the year-ago period. Adjusted EBITDA was $113 million, compared with $79 million in the year-ago quarter.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast a loss of $75 million, or 6 cents a share, on revenue of $1.1 billion.

DoorDash shares
DASH,
-1.23%

sank 5% in after-hours trading after a decrease of almost 1% in the regular session to close at $188.21, which snapped a six-day winning streak for the stock. 

DoorDash said in its shareholder letter that its outlook “anticipates a seasonal decline in new consumer acquisition and order rates in Q3.” The company expects adjusted Ebitda of $0 to $100 million and marketplace gross order volume of $9.3 billion to $9.8 billion. Analysts had expected GOV of $8.6 billion.

Adarkar said two factors are affecting the “softness” of the company’s forecast despite it being higher than during the beginning of the year: seasonality, as in consumers taking advantage of the summer to go and eat out, and continued uncertainty about the long-term effects of the pandemic.

The company raised its full-year guidance, though, from between $35 billion and $38 billion in GOV to between $39 billion and $40.5 billion. It expected adjusted Ebitda of $150 million to $350 million.

The company’s top executives stressed that they feel like they’ve only scratched the surface in terms of opportunity. Chief Executive Tony Xu said on the earnings call that non-restaurant orders — the company also delivers food and goods from convenience stores and groceries — has grown faster than the company’s restaurants business.

“On the other side, we are also building a first-party capability on behalf of retailers and merchants so that they can create their own digital businesses,” Xu said.

As for commission-fee caps, which were instituted to help struggling restaurants at the beginning of the pandemic, they are expiring in many markets but are being made permanent in cities like San Francisco. The executives called them “unnecessary and harmful.”

“Restaurants have a choice,” Adarkar told MarketWatch. “They can choose not to participate in delivery, or some of our other options [which amount to lower fees].” Xu said on the call that fee caps hurt customers, who could see higher prices as a result. He called them “violently unconstitutional.”

DoorDash and competitor GrubHub are suing San Francisco over its recent decision to permanently cap fees at 15%.

DoorDash stock has risen 33% year to date. By comparison, the S&P 500 Index
SPX,
+0.30%

is up almost 19% so far this year.

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