What happened

Business software solutions specialist Progress (NASDAQ:PRGS) gained 14% last month, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Including that rally, shares are up over 40% so far this year to trounce the broader market's 13% increase.

PRGS Chart

PRGS data by YCharts

So what

Progress' latest spike came following surprisingly strong fiscal third-quarter results that were released on Sept. 27. The company booked $97 million of revenue in that report. And while that marked a 5% decrease from the prior year, it was still enough to pass the top end of management's guidance range. Progress also beat executives' expectations on profits, with earnings per share stopping at $0.23 compared to the forecast of between $0.17 and $0.19.

A tablet showing financial charts.

Image source: Getty Images.

"Our strong financial performance can be traced directly to our continuing commitment to customer retention and to managing our business efficiently and profitably," CEO Yogesh Gupta said in a press release.

Now what

Gupta and his team raised their full-year outlook to account for the healthier operating trends. They now see sales of between $394 million and $397 million, up from the prior range of $391 million and $396 million. Earnings will likely come in at nearly $1.85 per share, compared to the prior target of $1.78 per share.

Progress also announced a new stock repurchase plan that should see the company spend $150 million on share buybacks by the end of the next fiscal year. Investors responded to the sinking share count, and improving business trends, by bidding the stock higher.

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