Why Medidata Solutions Shares Surged

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of cloud-based clinical development technologist Medidata Solutions (NASDAQ: MDSO  ) surged 19% today after its quarterly results and outlook topped Wall Street expectations. 

So what: The stock has soared over the past year on a string of better-than-expected quarters, and today's results -- second-quarter EPS of $0.36 on revenue of $68.1 million versus the consensus of $0.29 ad $66.7 million -- only reinforce that momentum. In fact, year-over-year operating margins expanded 230 basis points to 13%, suggesting that Medidata's competitive position is strengthening, too. 

Now what: Management now sees full-year revenue of $273 million-$276 million, up from a prior view of $270 million-$274 million and bracketing the consensus estimate of $274.3 million. "Our revised revenue and profitability guidance continues to validate our prudent investments in sustainable growth," said CFO Cory Douglas. "Record operating cash flow this quarter also demonstrates the long-term cash generation potential of Medidata's highly scalable and vertically focused cloud business." With the stock now up nearly a whopping 200% over its 52-week lows and trading at a lofty forward P/E of 60, much of that potential might already be baked into the valuation.     

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