Uber lost $2.8 billion a year ago

But the ride-hailing firm proactively shared its finances, Bloomberg reported, presumably to highlight its ongoing revenue growth and shrinking losses despite the recent string of scandals that have thrown the company's business, culture and leadership into question.

The net loss Uber pointed to, $2.8 billion excluding its China losses and other factors, is larger than the non-GAAP net loss for all but one company in the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.68%: ConocoPhilips COP, -1.66% which reported a non-GAAP loss of $3.3 billion for the year, Audit Analytics reported.

It's not required to disclose earnings information the way publicly traded companies must.

In the fourth quarter, Uber both increased its bookings and upped its losses, according to the report.

Uber lost 5% more during its fourth quarter in 2016 compared to its third quarter the same year.

"We're fortunate to have a healthy and growing business, giving us the room to make the changes we know are needed on management and accountability, our culture and organization, and our relationship with drivers", Rachel Holt, who runs Uber's North American operations, told Bloomberg in a statement. (Uber C.E.O. Travis Kalanick had said previously that his company was losing $1 billion every year in China alone).

The company is in the process of hiring a chief operating officer to help Kalanick manage it, fix its tarnished image and improve its culture. Its rival, Lyft, just increased its valuation, thanks to a recent $500 million funding round, but still lags behind Uber at $7.5 billion. Uber's revenue, for instance, is "only the portion Uber takes from fares, except in the case of its carpooling service; the company counts the entire amount of an UberPool fare as revenue", according to Bloomberg's Eric Newcomer. The company was spending aggressively to compete in China, with about $1 billion in losses there a year ago, bringing its losses to $3.8 billion globally.

Since it was founded in 2009, Uber has burned through at least $8 billion. But on a quarterly basis, the company continued to grow sales at a fast clip in the second half of the year while keeping losses constant. "This is a cash-burning machine".

  • Wendy Palmer