Lending Club reported record earnings in the fourth quarter thanks to soaring loan demand.
The San Francisco-based online lender said Thursday that it earned $4.6 million in the quarter, or a penny a share, compared with a loss of $9 million in the fourth quarter of 2014. The increase was driven largely by an 82% increase in loan originations, to nearly $2.6 billion in the quarter, and a 93% increase in top-line revenue, to $134.5 million. Total loan originations topped $10 billion for the full year.
Based on the results, the company is forecasting revenue of at least $147 million this quarter and at least $730 million for the year.
The company also said Tuesday that it plans to buy back up to $150 million of its stock this year. It would be Lending Club's first stock buyback since it went public in late 2014.
The results, along with the buyback announcement, seemed to please investors, who have largely been frustrated by the stock's performance in recent months. In early trading Thursday, shares were up more than 7%, to $7. Still, the shares were trading at twice that amount as recently as early November.
Lending Club was founded in 2007 and has originated more than $16 billion of loans since its inception.