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Qutoutiao stock plunges after reporting Q1 earnings; CEO Lei Li resigns

Chinese mobile content platform Qutoutiao Inc. (NASDAQ: QTT) reported its first quarter ending March 31, 2019. Non-GAAP net loss attributable to Qutoutiao Inc.’s ordinary shareholders widened to RMB619.8 million ($92.4 million) in the first quarter of 2019 from RMB233.2 million in the first quarter of 2018. Shares of Qutoutiao tanked 8.9% to $5.12 when the market closed today and continued to bleed during the extended hours of trading.

Qutoutiao announced today that Lei Li has resigned from the position of CEO due to personal reasons and will remain as Director and Vice Chairman of the board of the company. Eric Siliang Tan, the co-founder and Chairman of Qutoutiao has taken over the role of CEO. The company also appointed Xiaolu Zhu as Co-CFO, who previously served as CFO at KrSpace Inc.

Qutoutiao (QTT) 1Q19 combined average monthly active users & combined average daily active users

Revenue jumped 373% year-over-year to RMB1.119 billion (US$166.7 million) and was within the company’s guided range of RMB1.100 billion and RMB1.120 billion.

Non-GAAP net loss was RMB617.7 million ($92 million) compared to non-GAAP net loss of RMB216.3 million in the prior-year quarter. Non-GAAP net loss per ADS was RMB2.51 ($0.37). Each four ADSs represent one Class A ordinary share of the Quotoutiao.

For the second quarter of 2019, Quotoutiao expects revenue to be between RMB1.38 billion and RMB1.42 billion. For full-year 2019, the company expects revenue to be between RMB7.5 billion and RMB8.5 billion.

Also read: Chinese e-commerce firm Pinduoduo delivers 228% growth in Q1 revenues

“We continue to attract top talent to join us to drive our core technical capabilities which underpin everything from precise content recommendation to effective targeting in advertising. We leverage the very same capabilities in developing all products, and most recently we have been testing a new short video application for which initial results are promising,” said Eric Siliang Tan, Chairman and CEO.

Combined average monthly active users jumped 297% year-over-year to 111.4 million and combined average daily active users surged 232% to 37.5 million in the recently ended quarter. Average daily time spent per DAU reached 62.1 minutes, representing an year-over-year increase of 91%.

To further enhance the value proposition of Midu Novels, which was launched by Qutoutiao in May 2018, the company had planned to launch its proprietary writer platform to promote original content in the second quarter.

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