Uber's cost cuts and layoffs have yielded its first operating profit ever Under pressure from investors, Uber has become more disciplined about its tendency to burn through venture capital cash


Job openings in June were at their lowest level since April 2021, according to seasonally adjusted data released Aug. 1 by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. US job openings edged down by 34,000 in June from May to approximately 9.58 million.

However, Reuters noted job openings still remain at levels consistent with tight labor market conditions despite hefty interest rate increases from the Federal Reserve to dampen demand.

The largest decreases in job openings occurred in transportation, warehousing, and utilities, down by 78,000; state and local government education, down by 29,000; and federal government, down by 21,000.

On the flip side, job openings increased by 136,000 in healthcare and social assistance and by 62,000 in state and local government, excluding education.

Looking at separations, both quits, and the number of layoffs and discharges declined. Total separations decreased to about 5.6 million in June.

Quits, representing voluntary separations initiated by the employee, fell by 295,000 in June to approximately 3.8 million.

Meanwhile, the number of layoffs and discharges decreased in June by 19,000 from the previous month to nearly 1.5 million. 

Uber Technologies Inc. is developing an artificial intelligence-powered chatbot to integrate into its app, joining the long list of companies that are turning to the language tool to improve customer service, marketing, and other automated tasks.

“We’re working on it right now,” Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi said Tuesday in an interview on the Bloomberg Technology show. He didn’t provide details on the specifics of what the chatbot would be capable of doing but highlighted the ways Uber currently uses AI in its business.

“We have been working with machine learning, artificial intelligence systems for years and years,” he told Emily Chang. “Every time you get matched up with a car or a courier, there are algorithms making that happen, from the time of day, distance, all of that is driven by machine learning.”

Uber CEO Khosrowshahi on Profit, Autonomous Vehicles, AI
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi discusses the company’s first-ever operating profit, the future of autonomous vehicles and the utilization of artificial intelligence on “Bloomberg Technology.”

Uber’s delivery competitors, including DoorDash Inc. and Instacart Inc., are also building chatbots.

DoorDash is working on a system called DashAI that would speed up ordering and help customers find food options on the app. In May, Instacart launched a new feature, dubbed “Ask Instacart,” powered by OpenAI Inc.’s application programming interface, or API, that customers can use to pose questions about food preparation.

Uber posted its first-ever operating profit Tuesday, but revenue missed analysts’ estimates and the pace of growth slowed, sending the shares down about 6%.

Uber has reported its first operating profit, marking a significant turning point for the company. After years of heavy spending and accumulating operating losses, totaling $31.5 billion since 2014, Uber has finally achieved profitability. The company's aggressive expansion, fueled by cheap capital, had previously led to controversies and regulatory challenges in many countries. However, under CEO Dara Khosrowshahi's leadership, Uber has successfully controlled costs, raised prices, and expanded into food delivery, which has contributed to its financial turnaround.

The rebound in demand for ride-hailing following the pandemic, along with the success of Uber's food delivery service, has played a crucial role in the company's profitability. In the second quarter of this year, Uber reported $326 million in pre-tax earnings from its operations, compared to an operating loss of $713 million in the same period last year. Khosrowshahi attributed Uber's move to profitability to disciplined execution, a record audience, and strong engagement.

While Uber has found more stability in its finances, the effects of price wars in the ride-hailing and food-delivery businesses have continued to impact its performance. Lyft's price cuts earlier this year affected Uber's ride-hailing growth in the latest quarter, and competition with DoorDash affected the growth of its delivery business. As a result, Uber fell short of Wall Street forecasts, with revenue growth of 14 percent in the latest quarter, reaching $9.23 billion.

Despite these challenges, Uber's steady growth in demand for its services, even with increased prices, has boosted investor confidence in Khosrowshahi's turnaround strategy. The company's stock price has risen by 90 percent over the past year. Uber also issued a stronger forecast for its current quarter, with projected earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization in the range of $975 million to $1.025 billion, exceeding Wall Street estimates. The bookings forecast for the quarter is expected to reach $34 billion to $35 billion, higher than analysts' predictions of $33.9 billion.

In addition to its operating profit, Uber reported a quarterly profit of $394 million, or 18 cents per share, compared to a loss of $2.6 billion in the same period the previous year. Analysts had anticipated a loss of 1 cent per share for the quarter. This positive financial result reflects Uber's efforts to improve its operations and achieve long-term profitability. 

With U.S.-based trucking company Yellow Corporation ready to file for bankruptcy at any moment now, one industry expert had a dismal reaction to the unsolved negotiations.

"It's a travesty," FreightWaves founder and CEO Craig Fuller said on "Mornings with Maria" Tuesday. "I think the Teamsters have a lot of responsibility, particularly Sean O'Brien who was focused on UPS' negotiation, [and] didn't seem to be concerned about Yellen's precarious position."

After struggling with financial woes for more than a decade, Yellow Corp. reportedly ceased operations worldwide and laid off around 30,000 employees over the weekend – a telltale sign the company may soon file for bankruptcy.

The Teamsters Union, America’s largest for the trucking industry, claimed in an announcement early Monday it was given legal notice that Yellow would indeed be filing for bankruptcy.

"Certainly the Teamsters have some responsibility, particularly at the end, for sort of dragging on the negotiations and putting Yellow in a really precarious position," Fuller reacted. "But Yellow, this story, this situation, is really a decade-plus in the making."

FreightWaves CEO on Yellow bankruptcy

Reacting to the soon-expected Yellow Corp. bankruptcy, shipping logistics expert and FreightWaves CEO Craig Fuller called the trucking giant a "cockroach that sort of lived on," on "Mornings with Maria" Tuesday, August 1, 2023.  (Getty Images)

Fuller explained how Yellow had previous bailouts on "multiple occasions," calling Yellow a "cockroach that sort of lived on."

"It received a $700 million loan from the U.S. Treasury back in COVID, and that made sense, we're trying to protect jobs. Now we're looking at a situation where those jobs are not going to be replaced. Teamsters' jobs are not coming back." the shipping logistics expert pointed out.

"The Teamsters got a pension bailout of $36 billion from Biden in January, that really protected the pensions," he added. "So there's a lot of Teamsters that have talked about losing their pension – the reality is that pension [is] safe, but those jobs are not."

Yellow’s CEO previously told FOX Business that they filed a more than $137 million lawsuit against the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in late June, alleging the Teamsters breached their contract by blocking the company’s efforts to restructure and modernize its business.

Fuller argued that the ultimate bankruptcy came from a combination of Yellow being strapped for cash and Teamsters’ lack of policy flexibility.

"And the question is, where do these jobs end up? We have 30,000 jobs. It's one of the largest, not just trucking bankruptcies in history, but just in terms of companies shutting down, in terms of employee count, 30,000 people are losing their jobs," the expert explained. "And the Teamsters failed to come to the table and failed to negotiate, and didn't seem to be concerned about Yellow's precarious position right now."

Yellow Corporation did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

 Troubled trucking company Yellow Corp. is shutting down and headed for bankruptcy, the Teamsters said Monday.

An official bankruptcy filing is expected any day for Yellow, after years of financial struggles and growing debt. Its expected liquidation would mark a significant shift for the U.S. transportation industry and shippers nationwide.

“Today’s news is unfortunate but not surprising. Yellow has historically proven that it could not manage itself despite billions of dollars in worker concessions and hundreds of millions in bailout funding from the federal government,” Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien said, in an announcement saying the union had been served with legal notice for the bankruptcy filing. “This is a sad day for workers and the American freight industry.”

Yellow is one of the nation’s largest less-than-truckload carriers. The closure of the 99-year-old Nashville, Tennessee-based company risks a loss of 30,000 jobs. Yellow shut down operations on Sunday, according to The Journal, following the layoffs of hundreds of nonunion employees on Friday.

As of Tuesday afternoon, no bankruptcy filings from the company could be found on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s website.

The company’s collapse arrives just three years after Yellow, formerly known as YRC Worldwide Inc., received $700 million in pandemic-era loans from the federal government. But the company was in financial trouble long before that — with industry analysts pointing to poor management and strategic decisions dating back decades.

When reached by The Associated Press, Yellow did not comment directly on the bankruptcy reports but addressed contract negotiations between the Teamsters and the company, which sued the union in June after alleging it was “unjustifiably blocking” restructuring plans needed for Yellow’s survival. At the time, the Teamsters called the litigation “baseless” — with O’Brien pointing to Yellow’s “decades of gross mismanagement” and accusing the company of wanting workers to “foot the bill” amid the company’s financial chaos.

“Yellow has not asked its union employees for any concessions in its efforts to approve its long-planned modernization effort... Yellow offered to pay its employees more, a lot more, but the (Teamsters) refused to negotiate for nine months,” a company official said in a statement sent to The Associated Press Monday night, accusing the union of trying to “destroy” Yellow.

Reports of Yellow preparing for bankruptcy emerged last week — as the Nashville, Tennessee-based trucker saw customers leave in large numbers, per The Wall Street Journal and FreightWaves. And the company reportedly stopped freight pickups earlier in the week.

These reports arrived just days after Yellow averted a strike from the Teamsters. On July 23, a pension fund agreed to extend health benefits for workers at two Yellow Corp. operating companies, avoiding a planned walkout. The union said Yellow would have “30 days to pay its bills,” notably a total of $50 million owed to the Central States Health and Welfare Fund. A Yellow spokesperson said Tuesday that the company previously request a short-term deferral of the pension contributions plus interest, but the funds denied that request.

Yellow has racked up hefty bills over the years. As of late March, Yellow had an outstanding debt of about $1.5 billion. Of that, $729.2 million was owed to the federal government.

In 2020, under the Trump administration, the Treasury Department granted the company a $700 million pandemic-era loan on national security grounds. Last month, a congressional probe concluded that the Treasury and Defense departments “made missteps” in this decision — and noted that Yellow’s “precarious financial position at the time of the loan, and continued struggles, expose taxpayers to a significant risk of loss.”

The Teamsters supported the $700 million loan when it was first announced. As of June 30, Yellow had paid $67 million in cash interest on the loan, which is due in 2024, the company said.

The prospect of bankruptcy and current financial chaos at Yellow “is probably two decades in the making,” said Stifel research director Bruce Chan, pointing to poor management and strategic decisions dating back to the early 2000s. “At this point, after each party has bailed them out so many times, there is a limited appetite to do that anymore.”

An investors note from financial service firm Stephens last week estimated that Yellow was burning daily amounts of $9 million to $10 million in recent days.

Yellow handled an average of 49,000 shipments per day in 2022 according to Satish Jindel, president of transportation and logistics firm SJ Consulting. On Friday, he estimated that number was down to between 10,000 and 15,000 daily shipments.

Former Yellow customers and shippers will face higher prices as they take their business to competitors, including FedEx or ABF Freight, experts say — noting that Yellow historically offered the cheapest price points in the industry.

Yellow’s prices have historically been the cheapest compared to other carriers, Jindel said. “That’s why they obviously were not making money,” he added. “And while there is capacity with the other LTL carriers to handle the diversions from Yellow, it will come at a high price for (current shippers and customers) of Yellow.”

 U.S. auto safety regulators said Tuesday they have opened an investigation into 280,000 new Tesla (TSLA.O) Model 3 and Model Y vehicles over reports of loss of steering control and power steering.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened a preliminary evaluation after it received 12 complaints from owners of 2023 Tesla Model 3 and Model Y vehicles.

One Model 3 driver reported in May the "car steering felt stuck and slid off the road which resulted in crashing into a tree."

A driver in Alpharetta, Georgia in June reported that a two-week-old Tesla Model Y was coming out of a shopping center when "suddenly steering wheel did not steer. It was hard and saw the alert. Went to very close to the opposite side of traffic and somehow made it across the road inside the shopping center."

Tesla Model 3 vehicles shown for sale in Long Beach

Tesla Model 3 vehicles are shown for sale at a Tesla facility in Long Beach, California, U.S., on May 22, 2023. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This is the first step of a formal investigation to determine if the issue poses an unreasonable safety risk. NHTSA would need to upgrade the probe to an engineering analysis before it could demand a recall.

Another recent complaint said a Tesla Model Y that was less than 30 days old in April was turned on and the "wheel jerked hard right and made a thud" and the screen warned that “Steering Assist Reduced” and displayed an error code.

The driver said power steering was disabled and told the NHTSA it felt unsafe to steer and added "Tesla has moved my service visit from May 2 to May 25 due to a backlog of parts. They confirmed this is a recently known issue and noted the steering rack might be replaced entirely."

A driver in Honolulu said a week after purchasing a Tesla the steering wheel began locking up randomly and said it " occurred six times on different dates before we were able to get it to the Tesla service department." The driver said it "currently remains at Tesla for the next 3 weeks while we await a new steering rack/motor."

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