Instacart, officially known as MapleBear Inc. (ticker: CART), has reported better-than-expected results in its first earnings report since going public in September. The company posted third-quarter revenue of $764 million, a 14% increase from the previous year, surpassing Street consensus estimates of $737 million.
In after-hours trading, Instacart’s shares rose 4.3% to $28.40, though they had fallen 4.3% during the regular session to $27.24. The stock is down about 9% from its initial public offering price of $30 per share and 35% from its opening trade at $42.
Gross transaction value (GTV), which includes the cost of goods sold through the platform, along with fees, taxes, and tips, reached $7.49 billion, slightly exceeding consensus at $7.46 billion. Despite posting a third-quarter loss of $2 billion, which included $2.6 billion in stock-based compensation expenses, Instacart’s loss was narrower than the Street’s forecast of $2.2 billion.
Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $163 million, a remarkable 120% increase and above consensus at $120 million. The company cited the timing of accounts receivable as the reason for a decrease in operating cash flow from the previous year, which amounted to $111 million.
Transaction revenue in the quarter was $542 million, up 12%, and advertising and other revenue totaled $222 million, a 19% increase. Orders rose 4% to 66.2 million, and the average order value remained consistent at $113.
Instacart’s CEO, Fidji Simo, expressed confidence in the company’s position despite macroeconomic challenges. Simo noted that while various factors, such as the end of the COVID-19 tailwind, reduced government aid, high-interest rates, and inflation, may impact short-term growth, they do not change Instacart’s long-term outlook on online grocery adoption or its competitive advantages.
Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, Instacart expects gross transaction value to rise by 5% to 6% from the previous year due to order growth and increased order size as inflation moderates. The company anticipates adjusted EBITDA for the quarter to range from $165 million to $175 million, surpassing consensus at $155 million, driven by seasonal growth in advertising revenue.
Instacart has a positive outlook for the full year, expecting mid-single-digit growth in gross transaction value and adjusted EBITDA approximately three times that of 2022. These results reflect Instacart’s resilience and competitive strength in the online grocery delivery industry.