DoorDash spikes over 9% as Q1 revenue tops expectations; boosts FY outlook

·Associate Producer
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DoorDash (DASH) posted a first-quarter earnings report on Thursday that largely surpassed Wall Street's expectations, with the company demonstrating that the boost it got from COVID-19 demand has staying power beyond the pandemic.

The company reported revenue that skyrocketed 198 percent compared to a year-ago, to $1.08 billion, and total orders soaring 219 percent year-over-year, to $329 million. The results sent its stock on a tear after hours, which was up over 10%.

Here's what the San Francisco-based company reported, compared to Wall Street estimates, according to a Bloomberg consensus estimate:

  • Revenue: $1.08 billion versus $995.65 million expected

  • Adj. loss per share (EPS): -$0.34 versus -$0.10 per a share expected

  • Orders: 329 million versus 303.8 million expected

Although its loss was wider than Wall Street estimates, gross order volume spiked 222 percent to $9.9 billion, topping expectations of $8.96 billion dollars, and first-quarter profit increased 736% compared to a year ago. The results solidified DoorDash's dominance in the increasingly competitive delivery industry.

Investors also cheered DoorDash's full-year guidance, forecasting gross volume order value to be in a range of $35 billion to $38 billion. The company also expects EBITDA to be in a range of $0 million to $300 million.

"Our outlook for both the second quarter and 2021 anticipates the successful rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and an associated increase in in-store dining rates, as well as a seasonal decline in order rates associated with the warmer summer months," the company said shared in a note to investors.

"While we observed encouraging trends in the first quarter, we caution investors that the outlook for 2021 remains highly uncertain as consumer behavior could deviate from the expectations included in our guidance," it added.

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Over 2 million of DoorDash's delivery workers, known as Dashers, earned more than $2.5 billion dollars in total, with earnings per an "active hour" increasing both quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year. 

The company hinted toward its future in a note to investors, saying "we believe the transition toward omni-channel local commerce will be a decades long transformation that remains extremely early in its life-cycle," with "tremendous progress" in the first quarter "in building the tools to enable this transition and growing the scale of our platform.

However, the company admitted there is still more to be done: "we did not perform as well as we could have in every scenario, we increased the value we provide to consumers, helped merchants drive more volume through digital channels, and created more earnings opportunities for Dashers."

Wall Street watchers, like Wells Fargo Securities senior analyst Brian Fitzgerald, expected DoorDash to continue to entrench itself with users. "We expect the strong brand is going to continue to resonate," Fitzgerald told told Yahoo Finance recently. He cited DoorDash app use that remained elevated in the months of January, February, March and April of 2021. 

Compared to competitors like Grubhub (GRUB) and Uber Eats (UBER), Fitzgerald added DoorDash is "unique" due to its high growth and its profitability, noting it has "national market share leadership." He also suggested that takeout or delivery have "become essential" to the way people live —and it might be here to stay.

During the pandemic, the U.S. economy saw "macro shifts in secular growth and it's a one way ratchet...when the macro situation ameliorates or dissipates, you don't go back to necessarily the old way of doing things when you found a more efficient way to do stuff," the analyst explained.

Meanwhile, Steven Fox of Fox Advisors Founder & CEO told Yahoo Finance he is keeping a close eye on the new fee structure for restaurants announced in late April, as local restaurants and customers plan for life after COVID-19 lockdowns. 

He's also keeping a close eye on courier availability, as the company looks to compete with others in the gig economy space like Lyft (LYFT) and Uber. 

"If you have a car and you're in the gig economy, and maybe you've been doing more with DoorDash," a driver can make good money doing both ride sharing and delivery, he explained. 

Brooke DiPalma is a producer and reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter at @BrookeDiPalma or email her at bdipalma@yahoofinance.com. Check out her latest: