Uber and Lyft Investors seek Détente

Uber’s third-quarter operating loss is estimated to be $4.96 billion. Yes, you read that right. Lyft posted a similar, albeit much smaller, expense in a previous quarter

Lyft Inc. halted its electric bicycle program in San Francisco after at least two of the bikes’ batteries caught fire—only a couple weeks after the company put them on the streets.

A flaming Lyft vehicle is somehow a fitting symbol for investors’ worst fears about ride-hailing. Lyft and Uber Technologies Inc. are asking investors to trust that they will someday stop figuratively setting on fire hundreds of millions of dollars or more a quarter.

A key test for their businesses comes next week in their quarterly financial reports. The stocks haven’t performed particularly well since going public, and the question for investors is whether the two companies can demonstrate that their price war is deescalating. Will burn rates fall after raising prices around the country?

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