Why Veeva Systems Inc's Shares Are Zooming Higher

This highly shorted stock surprised Wall Street in a good way.

Aug 29, 2014 at 11:04AM

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: Shareholders of Veeva Systems (NYSE:VEEV), a cloud company focused on helping drug companies streamline the sales and regulatory processes, saw their stock climb as much as 17% today.

So What: Veeva reported earnings and revenue that came in above expectations, and raised guidance for the full year.

Specifically, Veeva saw revenue climb 53% as non-GAAP income shot 69% higher. Much of that jump was due to the fact the company continued to show strength in its Veeva CRM solutions -- which help integrate medical sales information under one umbrella.

Veeva's other line of business -- Veeva Vault -- focuses on helping life sciences companies streamline clinical trials and the regulatory process. The company added 10 new customers for its signature eTMF service, with one of them being its second top 10 pharma company.

For the rest of the year, the company raised both its earnings and revenue outlooks. Veeva now expects non-GAAP EPS of $0.31 -- up 15% from previous projections -- on revenue of $302 million -- up 8% from its previous forecast.

Now What: Veeva is a newly IPO'd company this year, and it has had a volatile run on the public markets. And given the large number of shares sold short previous to today, some of the stock's movement could be due to a short squeeze.

With shares now trading hands for 100 times trailing earnings, there are high expectations built into the stock. That shouldn't necessarily stop you from buying shares -- I own them myself. If Veeva is able to capture Big Pharma customers with its incredibly sticky product, it could be dominant for decades to come.

But investors need to understand that if the company falls short of these expectations, huge downswings in the stock price will follow. That's why my personal stake is less than 1% of my portfolio right now. I'd suggest a similarly cautious approach.

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Brian Stoffel owns shares of Veeva Systems. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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