July 30, 2019 / 1:29 PM / 25 days ago

GrubHub profit misses on higher spending to fend off competition

(Reuters) - GrubHub Inc’s quarterly profit missed analyst estimates on Tuesday, hit by soaring costs as the online food delivery company tries to fend off competition, sending its shares down 8% in afternoon trading.

The Chicago-based online food delivery company has tried to increase its market share by partnering with various companies, including a recent deal with Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc.

Total costs during the second quarter jumped 55% to $318.9 million, as GrubHub continued to spend on marketing initiatives.

“What you are seeing is a company doing a really good job of building its business over time and they’re facing a combination of incremental competitor pressure and the challenge of an adjusting marketplace,” said D.A Davidson analyst Thomas Forte.

Despite Amazon’s withdrawal from the online food delivery race, GrubHub has faced stiff competition from Uber owned Uber Eats and new entrant DoorDash.

Typically, online food delivery often has one clear winner as users download and use only one app, constricting the market to one or two major players.

Net income attributable to common stockholders fell to $1.3 million, or 1 cent per share, in the second quarter ended June 30, from $30.1 million, or 33 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 27 cents per share against analysts’ estimates of 30 cents per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Revenue, however, rose 36% to $325.1 million, beating analysts’ expectation of $318.8 million.

Reporting by Abhishek Manikandan and Shariq Khan in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Shailesh Kuber

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