What happened

Shares of Pegasystems Inc. (NASDAQ:PEGA) were up 13.5% as of 1:25 p.m. EDT Thursday after the business software specialist announced strong first-quarter 2017 results.

So what

Quarterly revenue climbed 24.8% year over year to $223.2 million, which translated to a 79.4% increase in adjusted net income to $31.9 million, or $0.39 per share. Analysts, on average, were only expecting adjusted net income of $0.23 per share. 

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IMAGE SOURCE: PEGASYSTEMS

"We got off to a strong start in 2017 and we're happy with our performance globally," said CEO Alan Trefler. "Most importantly we continue to see our clients achieving unprecedented business outcomes through the use of our software."

Now what

Pegasystems doesn't provide quarterly financial guidance. But it did reveal that its total license and cloud backlog climbed 32% year over year, to $513.1 million. Excluding perpetual licenses from that total, term license and cloud backlog jumped 45% year over year to $445.4 million, or 87% of the total backlog (up from 79% this time last year).

In the end, this was a straightforward quarterly beat from Pegasystems that should leave investors excited for what's to come. And even with Pegasystems stock up more than 30% in 2017 prior to this report, it's no surprise to see shares extending their gains today.

Steve Symington has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Pegasystems. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.