What happened

Shares of Zuora (NYSE:ZUO) jumped as much as 24% higher on Friday following the company's release of impressive first-quarter results. As of 3 p.m. EDT, the stock had settled down slightly to a 21% gain.

So what

The maker and manager of tailor-made software-as-a-service applications saw first-quarter sales soar 60% year over year to land at $51.7 million. The company reported an adjusted net loss of $0.32 per share, compared to a $0.27-per-share loss in the year-ago period.

Your average analyst would have settled for a loss of $0.40 per share on sales near $49 million, so Zuora exceeded the Street's targets by a wide margin. Zuora's second-quarter guidance also ran ahead of the current analyst view across the board.

White Zuora logo against a mottled blue background.

Image source: Zuora.

Now what

After today's jump, Zuora shares are trading above their closing prices from the IPO in April. That's a first. The company's laser-focused strategy of building, maintaining, and operating cloud-based software tools that help other companies run their business looks like a smart business plan. Some analysts expect Zuora to deliver extreme growth for years to come as this strategy matures, while others see it as a potential buyout target for larger tech companies with a hunger for cloud computing revenue.

It's no surprise to see Zuora's shares soaring (say that three times fast!) on this solid report and optimistic guidance.

Anders Bylund has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.