SAN JOSE, Calif. — Uber’s stock market value fell by as much as $1.5 billion Friday as investors turned against the ride-hailing giant after it said more than 3,000 sexual assaults took place during its rides in 2018.
At one point Friday, Uber’s shares had fallen by almost 3%, to $27.81, to give the company a market capitalization of $47.4 billion. Uber shares closed Thursday at $28.65, and with a market value of $48.9 billion based on the 1,705,815,070 outstanding shares the company reported at the end of its fiscal third quarter.
Wall Street’s sentiment follows Uber’s release on Thursday of a safety report that said it received 3,045 reports of sexual assaults in its rides in 2018, on top of 2,936 such incidents in 2017. Of those figures, Uber said there were 235 reports of rape in 2018, up from 229 in 2017.
Uber also said it ran 2.3 billion rides over the two-year period.
After Uber released its safety report, Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi went on Twitter to say Uber will continue to work on ways to better protect its riders from sexual assault.
“Doing the right thing means counting, confronting, and taking action to end sexual assault,” Khosrowshahi tweeted. “My heart is with every survivor of this all-too-pervasive crime. Our work will never be done, but we take an important step forward today.”
But Dan Ives, who follows Uber as a managing director at Wedbush Securities, said the report is another example of issues that continue to plague the company.
“The safety reports paints another black eye for Uber as the company continues have business model issues which need to addressed,” Ives said. “Wall Street feels like every day is another negative headline.”
In addition to the reaction to its safety report, Uber is appealing a revoking of its license to operate in London that was announced last week. The company also recently reported a spike in government requests for information about its riders in the United States and Canada, co-founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick sold more than $700 million in Uber stock, Khosrowshahi was taken to task following his comments about a Saudi Arabian journalist’s murder in Istanbul, and Uber reported a loss of more than $1 billion in its fiscal third quarter, which ended in September.