Why Proofpoint Inc Shares Popped Today

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 Proofpoint Inc (NASDAQ: PFPT  ) jumped more than 13% Thursday after the company announced encouraging first-quarter results.

So what: Quarterly revenue rose 39% year over year to $42.7 million, which translated an adjusted loss of $0.12 per share. Analysts, on average, were expecting a wider loss of $0.18 per share on sales of just $40.7 million. Billings for the first quarter also rose to $46.6 million, or an increase of 33% over the same year-ago period. 

In addition, Proofpoint expects second-quarter revenue in the range of $43 million to $44 million, and an adjusted loss per share of $0.11 to $0.13. The midpoints of both ranges are ahead of analysts' expectations, which called for a Q2 loss of $0.13 per share on sales of $41.95 million.

Finally, for the full year 2014, Proofpoint sees total revenue in the range of $178 million to $180 million, which should result in an adjusted loss per share of $0.41 to $0.46. By comparison, analysts were modeling 2014 sales and losses per share of $175.85 million and $0.49, respectively.

Now what: CEO Gary Steele added, "Our ability to exceed expectations across all key operating metrics was driven by our continued high win rates across our entire product line, strong renewals, and expansion with our existing customers."

These are solid results by any measure, so I can't blame the market for bidding up shares today. If Proofpoint can continue steadily marching toward sustained profitability, I still see no reason the stock won't continue rewarding investors going forward.

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