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Edtech Chegg tumbles as ChatGPT threat prompts revenue warning

Published May 02, 2023 06:55AM ET Updated May 02, 2023 09:57AM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: ChatGPT logo is seen in this illustration taken March 31, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo
 
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By Medha Singh

(Reuters) -What's the cost of students using ChatGPT for homework? For U.S. education services provider Chegg (NYSE:CHGG) Inc, it could be nearly $1 billion in market valuation.    

Chegg signaled the rising popularity of viral chatbot ChatGPT was pressuring its subscriber growth and prompted it to suspend its full-year outlook, sending shares of the company 47% lower in early trading on Tuesday.

"Since March, we saw a significant spike in student interest in ChatGPT. We now believe it's having an impact on our new customer growth rate," said Chegg CEO Dan Rosensweig.

There are fears Chegg's core business could become extinct as consumers experiment with free artificial intelligence (AI) tools, said analyst Brent Thill at Jefferies, which downgraded the stock to "hold".

Last month, the Santa Clara, California-based firm said it would launch ChatGPT's AI powered CheggMate, a study aide tailored to students' needs, at a time educators were grappling with the consequences of the homework drafting chatbot.

However, analysts said it was unclear if CheggMate would be enough to counter a slowdown in company's core business.

"We fear Chegg could start to lose mind-share before CheggMate fully rolls out," Thill said.

If losses hold through the session, Chegg would lose $994 million in market capitalization.

Shares of Chegg's UK rival Pearson PLC (LON:PSON) shed nearly 11.5% on Tuesday.

Chegg said it was suspending its full-year outlook due to uncertainty of the impact on results and targeted second-quarter total revenue between $175 million and $178 million, which fell short of Wall Street expectations of $186.3 million.

"Chegg has to make significant changes in a rapidly changing environment that is akin to 'dancing in the rain without getting wet,'" said Arvind Ramnani, analyst at Piper Sandler.

Edtech Chegg tumbles as ChatGPT threat prompts revenue warning
 

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Carl Tom May 22, 2023 9:28AM ET
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