Uber Eats in focus as inflation-hit consumers rethink ordering in

An Uber Eats delivery bag is seen on a bicycle in Brooklyn, New York City, U.S., May 9, 2022. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Aug 1 (Reuters) - The food-delivery business that kept Uber Technologies' (UBER.N) earnings afloat during the peak of the pandemic is expected to show signs of strain in second-quarter results due on Tuesday as decades-high inflation crimps consumer spending.

The slowdown could dampen any boost from a rebound in Uber's mainstay ride-hailing business that has been benefiting from the reopening of offices and a surge in travel globally.

"Investors have written off food delivery as the next shoe to drop as consumers tighten up their wallets," Bernstein analyst Nikhil Devnani said, pointing to the dismal performance of Britain's Deliveroo (ROO.L).

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THE CONTEXT

Deliveroo had cuts its annual revenue forecast last month amid a worsening cost of living crisis, prompting questions over the growth prospects of delivery firms. read more

While ride-sharing has staged a recovery this year, that could come under pressure from a possible driver shortage sparked by the surge in gasoline prices, MKM Partners analyst Rohit Kulkarni said.

Uber said last quarter it was not seeing the need to boost incentives to lure drivers, while rival Lyft (LYFT.O) was forced to invest more to ensure a steady supply of cab rides. read more

Lyft will report earnings on Thursday.

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FUNDAMENTALS

* Analysts expect Uber to post second-quarter revenue of $7.39 billion, up 88.2% from a year earlier - Refinitiv data

* Lyft's revenue is expected to rise 29.1% to $987.9 million

* EBITDA, a keenly watched metric, is expected to come in at $258 million for Uber and $18.7 million for Lyft

WALL STREET SENTIMENT

* So far in 2022, Uber has declined 44% and Lyft has shed 68%, more than the 13.2% fall in the benchmark S&P 500 index (.SPX).

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Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni

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