What happened

Shares of Splunk Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLK) climbed 62% in 2017, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, as the operational-intelligence platform specialist extended a long streak of consistently exceeding its financial guidance.

More specifically, Splunk topped expectations with each of its quarterly reports last year, culminating with its 23rd straight quarterly beat in November. 

Splunk logo in white letters with abstract text machine data on a blue background.

Image source: Splunk.

So what

That's not to say it was a straight line up. Shares pulled back modestly after Splunk's stellar report in May -- something i speculated was a likely consequence of profit takers stepping in with shares having more than doubled from their early 2016 lows.

"We are pleased that customers continue to adopt the Splunk platform on-premises, in the cloud, and in a hybrid environment," added Splunk CEO Doug Merritt. "This continued adoption, flexible deployment, and our strong app ecosystem is helping us deliver on our goal of increasing their success."

To be sure, long-term investors who held on were soon rewarded for their patience. Splunk stock more than made up for its temporarily pullback with big pops after both of its quarterly reports in August and November. Splunk modestly increased its full-year revenue guidance each time, ending the year with over 13,000 customers.

Now what

In November, Splunk also introduced better-than-expected preliminary guidance for the coming fiscal year, calling for revenue to increase roughly 25% year over year to $1.55 billion. 

But I won't be the only one surprised if Splunk boosts that target when it releases fiscal fourth-quarter results early next month. As it stands, Wall Street's consensus estimates already predict that Splunk's revenue next fiscal year will arrive slightly above its guidance at roughly $1.56 billion.

In the end, there's no denying the incredible momentum Splunk's business demonstrated over the past year, and it's hard to blame investors for bidding the stock up in response.

Editor's note: This article has been corrected to note this was Splunk's 23rd straight quarter of beating its guidance.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.