Chegg first-quarter revenue jumps 22 pct, loss widens

SAN FRANCISCO Thu May 1, 2014 6:42pm EDT

SAN FRANCISCO May 1 (Reuters) - Chegg Inc, an Internet company that rents textbooks and provides other services to students, on Thursday reported a wider loss for the first quarter, but revenue topped Wall Street expectations.

Revenue increased 22 percent to $74.4 million, compared to $61 million in the year-ago period. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S were looking for revenue of $70.9 million.

The company said non-digital revenue grew 66 percent year-on-year in the quarter, while print revenue grew 13 percent.

With Chegg's school textbook rental business facing competition from Amazon.com Inc, the company is expanding into other services aimed at high school and college students. In April, Chegg acquired Campus Special, which provides students with coupons for food and other items, for $17 million.

Chief Executive Dan Rosensweig said the company was looking at opportunities to provide students with test preparation services, potentially by developing home-grown products as well as through acquisitions.

"It wouldn't surprise me if you saw us doing things both organically and non-organically," Rosensweig said in an interview with Reuters.

The company forecast revenue in the current quarter would range between $61 million and $65 million. Analysts were looking for $65 million.

Chegg reported a net loss in the first quarter of $25.8 million, or 31 cents per share, compared to a loss of $17.8 million, or $1.48 per share, in the year-ago period. The number of shares outstanding rose more than six-fold in the latest quarter from a year earlier.

Excluding stock compensation costs and other costs, Chegg said it had a loss of 22 cents a share.

Shares of Chegg rose by 9 cents to $5.56 in after-hours trading on Thursday. (Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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