So far this year, Uber ($UBER) investors are looking wicked smaht

Shares are up nearly 20% and it doesn't look like Uber is going to pump the brakes any time soon. The ride-sharing startup is branching out into new businesses, and analysts have taken note. Morgan Stanley analysts are boosting their price target for Uber stock to $57, suggesting a massive upside for the ridesharing app with its earnings approaching Thursday.

There are a handful of factors contributing to job posting compression at Uber - one is the disruption of its prized London business; and the company recently had to slash job postings right before a round of layoffs, as well. Still, Uber's job postings are down 33% since the app made its IPO debut in May 2019. 

Our next chart breaks down where Uber's hiring less - and where Uber's hiring more, after having hired less. 

Investors - and probably those Morgan Stanley analysts who like the stock so much - should be heartened by the fact that Uber recently began seeking out more Engineering, Product Management, Design, and Backend developers. Or, put another way, Uber sure looks like a company that's out to continue to grow its digital offerings. 

Morgan Stanley analysts remain optimistic on Uber's abilities to enter into other industries - "Uber's platform approach allows it to rapidly expand into new business lines (Eats, Freight), and leverage shared expenses," they wrote in their report earlier this month. 

The chart above reflects Uber's ongoing scale into the freight space (despite the arrival of competitive startups like NEXT Trucking, which is suffering growing pains of its own). However, NEXT is up against stiff competition, and Uber's Freight app has registered a very nice 69% increase for Apple ($AAPL) Store Ratings Count, signaling continued and rising engagement. 

Analysts tracked by Zacks Investment Research are looking for EPS losses of -$0.68 when Uber announces results February 6; next week, investors will also get a chance to check Lyft's performance when it reports. 

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

Further Reading: 

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