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Uber's profitability rides on Eats

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A deliveryman for Uber Eats rides a bike in Paris during a lockdown imposed to slow the spread of COVID-19 in France, April, 1, 2020. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

WASHINGTON, Sept 21 (Reuters Breakingviews) - Uber Technologies' (UBER.N) sooner-than-expected profitability depends on what's under the hood read more . The company said on Tuesday its adjusted EBITDA could be as much as $25 million in the third quarter, sending the company's shares up more than 6% in morning trading. But the details are important, and they are not disclosed.

The pandemic threw off Uber's profitability picture as the business of taxiing people around town was crimped. While Tuesday's adjustment included commentary that both rides and food-delivery improved, the company run by Dara Khosrowshahi didn't provide specific figures.

Competition in food delivery has made it difficult to keep costs in line, and so Eats has been a drag on Uber . Despite the unit more than doubling revenue last quarter, it posted an adjusted EBITDA loss of $161 million. Rides earned $179 million even though revenue grew at a slower pace . Uber's investors might welcome the profits, but as long as Eats putters along, its real potential is limited. (By Gina Chon)

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Editing by Lauren Silva Laughlin and Amanda Gomez

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