What happened

Shares of Twilio (NYSE:TWLO) surged as much as 18% higher on Wednesday morning, following the release of strong first-quarter results. The peak price of $52.33 per share was reached at 9:50 a.m., EDT. An hour later, the stock had retreated slightly to a 15% gain.

So what

The provider of tools and technology platforms around which other companies can build cloud-based communications services saw first-quarter sales rise 47% year over year, landing at $129 million. Adjusted net losses held steady at $0.04 per diluted share. The analyst consensus called for a net loss of $0.07 per share on sales near $116 million; Twilio breezed past these targets with ease.

Management also offered next-quarter guidance above the current Street views while raising its full-year targets across the board. So that's a classic beat-and-raise performance, which usually spells good news for any stock.

Blue charting arrow hopping onto a trampoline, then bouncing skyward.

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

In fiscal year 2016, ride-hailing service Uber was Twilio's largest customer and accounted for 17% of this company's total sales. When Uber decided to start developing its own cloud communications tools, Twilio investors panicked and sent the stock 18% lower in 2017.

But the company has turned its sights on lots of new customers to replace the lost Uber business. Twilio added 5,000 active customer accounts during the first quarter alone and more than 13,000 over the last four quarters, landing at 54,000 active clients. The new Twilio Flex development platform is arguably best suited for small- and medium-sized client businesses with limited access to top-notch programmers, so I would expect the customer count to keep surging as that tool moves out of beta-testing later this year.

Thanks to two solid reports and a clear-cut strategy to make up for the missing Uber dollars, Twilio shares have more than doubled in price year-to-date.

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.