What happened

Data protection specialist Carbonite (NASDAQ:CARB) gained 10% last month, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The increase helped push the volatile stock to a new high, with shares up more than 30% so far this year.

CARB Chart

CARB data by YCharts.

So what

September's boost came after Carbonite's management hosted an investor conference late in the month that included some positive news for shareholders. In their presentation, CEO Mohamad Ali and his executive team outlined a long-term plan that, through upgrades to the current data protection platform and extensions into new growth areas by acquisitions, the company could reach $1 billion of annual sales -- up from $250 million today.

Inside a server room.

Image source: Getty Images.

Carbonite's biggest opportunity lies in cross-selling its existing customer base into more comprehensive protection solutions like cloud-based backup and migration and its upcoming disaster-recovery-as-a-service offering. The company can stand out against massive cloud providers like Amazon and Microsoft, executives contend, because of its ability to serve smaller customers and its focus on data protection.

Now what

As for the short term, Carbonite's business should continue benefiting from its shift toward efficient cloud-based services. Management affirmed their third-quarter target that calls for sales to rise to between $60.5 million and $62.5 million compared to the prior year's $52.5 million as earnings expand. "We are confident in our ability to deliver a meaningful sequential increase in profitability during the third quarter," Chief Financial Officer Anthony Folger said in a press release.

That news suggesting Carbonite will take a small step toward its aggressive long-term operating goals was enough to send shares higher last month.

Teresa Kersten is an employee of LinkedIn and is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft. Demitrios Kalogeropoulos has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends AMZN. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.