Lending Club ($LC) is expected to report losses of -$0.04 per share after the bell on May 5, but what's less clear is how well the online lender can weather a once-in-a-century pandemic that's hitting growing companies hard.
So far, it looks like Lending Club's employee count has declined by about 100 since the new year - but it's likely to continue to decline.
The steep drop-off in headcount jives with the company's announcement that it would lay off hundreds of staffers - and it's likely, based on reports, that we'll continue to see Lending Club headcount - tracked above in its LinkedIn profile - decline in 2020.
The good news for Lending Club, is that it is seeing job postings bounce back, but ever so slightly. They're down 88% from their 2020 peak.
Lending Club wasn't the only consumer finance disruptor to cut into job postings as the pandemic hit. While it's certain Lending Club should see a rise in consumers' interest as many experience cash flow difficulties, it's less clear whether the pipeline it had access to, that allowed it to generate loans, will remain open. This is something executives will have to go to great lengths to explain on its earnings call if they're to maintain investor and analysts' confidence.
Worst still, it looks like reviews submitted at Lending Club's site, tracked above, have almost completely leveled off - signaling less activity. Although, it remains completely possible that consumers are still obtaining loans and simply not offering up a rating. But at a time when many folks are in need of a loan, it's unlikely that someone would be less inclined to provide feedback - positive or negative - once the deal was done.
Between myriad startups entering the financial services space and legacy players like Goldman Sachs dialing up apps to take Lending Club's primary business, it's unclear how well it can weather the storm. But being able to quickly establish relationships with banks that can support loans, and to trusted parties, would go a long way to save Lending Club.
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.