Peer-to-peer lending company Lending Club (LC 2.45%) reported first-quarter earnings that show much-needed signs of growth. As of 10:45 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, the stock was up by approximately 15% on the day to $3.24.
The company reported year-over-year revenue growth of 22% to $151.7 million, as well as 18% growth in loan originations. Lending Club also reported a net loss of $31.2 million, although this was expected.
The key takeaway here is that Lending Club's earnings show that their growth initiatives are coming to fruition. In fact, the company called for 20% growth in its 2018 outlook, so 22% revenue growth is even better than expected. And, the company's full-year outlook calls for total revenue in the range of $680-$705 million. At the midpoint, this implies average revenue of more than $180 million per quarter for the rest of the year. Considering that the first quarter's revenue was "just" $151.7 million, this represents some impressive growth ahead.
2017 was a "rebuilding" year for Lending Club, according to the company's management, after a terrible year in 2016 that included a major scandal and the subsequent departure of the CEO. So, the fact that the company's turnaround efforts seem to be working out as expected, or even better, is likely being seen as an encouraging sign by shareholders.
It's important to keep in mind that even after today's rally, Lending Club is trading at roughly half of its 52-week high, and it's still down by more than 86% from since its first trading day in late 2014.
While the company's first-quarter earnings report is certainly a step in the right direction, Lending Club still has a long way to go in its turnaround efforts.