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Chegg Revenue Jumps 12 Percent to $77 Million in Q4, but Is Dragged Down by Print

Bright spot: Digital revenue spiked 70 percent year over year.

Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

Textbook rental service Chegg recorded fourth-quarter revenue of $77 million, a 12 percent increase from the same period last year, the company announced today. Chegg registered earnings per share of 40 cents, excluding non-cash items.

Print revenue rose just three percent, while digital revenue grew 70 percent to $16.7 million. The latter composed 22 percent of all revenue in the fourth quarter, up from 14 percent in the year-ago period.

For the full year, Chegg’s revenue increased about 20 percent to $256 million.

The company, which has expanded beyond textbook rentals to other academic services, started trading in November around $11 a share after pricing its IPO at $12.50. The stock was trading down around two percent, at $7.75, in after-hours trading today.

In an interview after the earnings, CEO Dan Rosensweig said that the slower growth in its analog business was natural,but that is was still an important part of its business to bring students aboard its system and exposed to other services Chegg offers.

“Three years ago, digital revenue were zero, but they grew via our print business, so it is hard to measure print success through revenue,” he said. “It is a customer acquisition tool for other services in a virtuous circle. We don’t have to get rid of textbooks, because eventually they will get rid of themselves.”

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