Why Pivotal Software Inc. Stock Skyrocketed Wednesday

What happened

Pivotal Software (NYSE: PVTL), provider of a cloud-based software development platform, saw its shares soar on Wednesday, following its first reported quarter as a publicly traded company. Shares rose as much as 28% during the trading day, but are up 26.5% as of 1:18 p.m. EDT.

Investors are likely impressed by the company’s rapid revenue growth — particularly its sharp increase in subscription revenue — during its first quarter of fiscal 2019. In addition, both Pivotal’s revenue and adjusted loss per share were better than consensus analyst estimates for the two metrics.

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So what

Pivotal Software reported first-quarter revenue of $155.7 million, up 28% year over year. On average, analysts were expecting first-quarter revenue of $140.4 million. This strong increase in revenue was driven by a 69% year-over-year rise in subscription revenue to $90.1 million. Services revenue fell 3% year over year to $65.6 million.

On a non-GAAP basis, Pivotal lost $23.3 million, or $0.10. This compares to a non-GAAP net loss of $0.20 per share in the year-ago quarter. A $0.10 non-GAAP net loss per share was also better than a consensus analyst estimate for a loss of $0.13.

With revenue growth easily exceeding its 20% year-over-year increase in subscribers, Pivotal CEO Rob Mee said the company benefited from existing customers expanding their use of its platform.

“The first quarter was a strong start to our fiscal year 2019 as we continued to deliver robust growth at scale,” said Mee.

What now

Looking ahead, Pivotal management laid out an optimistic forecast.

Management said it expects second-quarter and full-fiscal year revenue of $157 million to $159 million and $642 million to $649 million, respectively. Both of these ranges are above consensus analyst estimates for $153 million and $622 million.

Management forecast second-quarter and full-year non-GAAP net losses per share of $0.10 to $0.09 and $0.39 to $0.37, respectively. On average, analysts expected Pivotal to lose $0.10 per share in the second quarter and $0.45 per share for the full year.

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