DoorDash Inc. has benefited from the pandemic, but the delivery company hopes it can branch out beyond prepared-food delivery for greater sustainability.

Restaurants have reopened along with the rest of the economy, but with the delta variant of COVID-19 surging in many states, delivery platform DoorDash is still expected to show strong results when it reports earnings Thursday afternoon, some analysts say.

DoorDash
DASH,
+4.18%
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which handily beat expectations in the previous quarter, likely had a strong second quarter, too, Truist Securities analysts say. They expect the company to benefit from “continued momentum in food delivery even as the economy reopens, and from early traction in the non-restaurant segments,” the analysts wrote in a note to investors.

DoorDash now also offers convenience-store and grocery deliveries, including partnerships with big grocers like Albertsons Cos. Inc.
ACI,
+12.75%

And this month, the company announced DoubleDash, which offers customers the ability to combine their restaurant orders with orders from a nearby store in a single transaction.

Already the U.S. market leader in food delivery, DoorDash is doing what competitor and ride-hailing giant Uber Technologies Inc.
UBER,
+1.25%

has done by rivaling DoorDash: hedge its bets. To underscore that point, data from research firm M Science shows that even if customer growth may now be slowing compared with the big boost in customers DoorDash saw because of the pandemic-related lockdowns, there is still quarter-over-quarter “growth in share of [gross order volume] attributable to non-restaurant categories.”

See: The rise of the gig economy spells the end for these workers

In addition, a new wave of coronavirus cases could “prevent the economy from fully reopening and benefit DoorDash short term,” Truist analysts wrote. But they said the “very tough” second-half, year-over-year comparisons could cause the company to issue conservative guidance.

What to expect

Earnings: Analysts surveyed by FactSet on average expect DoorDash to post a loss of $75 million, or 6 cents a share. The average expectation of analysts, hedge-fund managers, executives and more, as gathered by Estimize, is a loss of 7 cents a share.

Revenue: Analysts on average expect revenue of $1.1 billion, according to FactSet. Estimize is guiding for $1.09 billion.

Stock movement: DoorDash shares are up about 28% this year through Monday’s session, while the S&P 500 index 
SPX,
+0.08%

has gained 18%.

What analysts are saying

According to Truist’s data, DoorDash’s marketplace gross order volume, or GOV, may have grown 60% or more in the quarter. Analyst Youssef Squali wrote that would be in line with Truist’s June survey, which found that even after vaccination, consumers showed “little change” in using food delivery.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet on average expect GOV of $9.78 billion. That’s about a 59% increase year over year. By comparison, GOV rose 227% from $1.88 billion in the second quarter of 2019 to $6.15 billion in the second quarter of 2020.

Another key issue for DoorDash is fee caps that were instituted by cities and counties during the pandemic. Those have expired in many places, but this summer San Francisco made 15% fee commissions — what delivery platforms charge restaurants — permanent, prompting a lawsuit from DoorDash and competitor Grubhub.

Despite possible complications for DoorDash’s business over fee caps, Truist analysts wrote that they “view the easing of fee caps as a positive for DoorDash take rate” in the second half of 2021.

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