What happened

Shares of research services specialist Gartner (IT -0.95%) outpaced the market by rising 11% last month compared to a 3% increase in the S&P 500, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The rally kept shareholders ahead of the market so far for 2018, as well as for longer time frames, including the past one-year and three-year periods.

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So what

Investors were pleased with Gartner's second-quarter results, which were announced early in the month. In that report, management revealed that adjusted revenue grew at a 14% rate while net income expanded by 11%.

Rising stock chart superimposed over digital map of the world

Image source: Getty Images.

"The leading indicators across all parts of our business are overwhelmingly positive," CEO Gene Hall said in a press release, "and we are well-positioned for sustained, long-term double digit growth."

Now what

Hall and his team still believe revenue will approach $4 billion in 2018 thanks to rising demand for Gartner's research and advisory products. They have predicted that profitability will rise as they lift the recently acquired CEB business up toward the broader company's average.

Those moves began this quarter, starting with reduced discounting, and so investors can expect to see positive results here over the coming quarters. As for revenue, healthy booking trends suggest the company should achieve its goal of double-digit revenue growth this year.