What happened

Shares of Qudian (NYSE:QD) closed down 16.5% on Monday after the Chinese online lender announced earnings that fell short of expectations.

Qudian reported "diluted adjusted net income per share" of $0.16 but GAAP diluted net income per share of only $0.15 per share. Whichever yardstick you use, though, these numbers appear to be lower than the $0.17-per-share estimate quoted on Yahoo! Finance. Revenue, on the other hand, came in at $273.7 million, significantly above consensus expectations for $214.6 million.

Hands holding 100 yuan bills

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Sales more than doubled (up 106%) year over year, but earnings in local currency declined 38%. CEO Min Luo attributed the earnings disappointment to "the temporary credit downturn in Chinese consumer credit markets following implementation of new regulations late last year as well as our proactive decision to temporarily tighten credit standards and de-risk our book."

Now what

Also affecting the stock, one imagines, is a small note inserted toward the end of Qudian's earnings release that said two members of the company's board of directors have resigned. "Mr. Shilei Li and Mr. Yi Cao," said the company, "have tendered their resignations as directors to the Company's board for personal reasons." The fact that both resignations occurred "effective as of the date of this press release," however, seems rather sudden, and suggests there may be more to this story.

But Qudian isn't saying what, and investors don't seem to be inclined to stick around and find out.

Rich Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.