Thursday marked the second straight trading session of big declines for the stock market, though the most-followed indexes ultimately ended the day with modest losses. Once again, trade was in the forefront, and investors were roiled by news of the arrest of a key Chinese executive in Canada, with plans to extradite to the U.S. to answer allegations of violations of sanctions against Iran. Combined with fears of overly aggressive monetary policy from the Federal Reserve, slowing economic growth, and overall fatigue after nearly a decade of bull market gains, the about-face in U.S.-China relations was enough to sink investor sentiment. Yet some individual companies had good things to say, and Okta (OKTA -1.15%), Zscaler (ZS 5.40%), and Cloudera (CLDR) were among the best performers on the day. Here's why they did so well.
Okta heads for the stratosphere
Okta stock gained 10% after the company reported its third-quarter financial results. The enterprise identity-security specialist said that revenue soared 58% year over year on an identical rise in sales from recurring subscriptions, and although the company lost money, adjusted losses were almost 80% smaller than they were a year ago at this time. CEO Todd McKinnon was pleased with how the company did, pointing to huge growth in large customers doing more than $100,000 in business annually. In McKinnon's words, "Our continued strength is a testament to the growing pervasiveness of identity, and we believe we are well positioned to further benefit from these tailwinds as organizations continue their move to the cloud while digitally transforming and securing their businesses." With continued aggressive growth projections for the future, Okta has its shareholders excited to see what happens next.
Zscaler looks secure
Shares of cloud security provider Zscaler climbed 15% in the wake of the company's release of fiscal first-quarter financials. Sales were higher by 59% from the year-ago period, and the company managed to post a modest $0.01-per-share profit on an adjusted basis. Retention rates continued to improve, showing the dedication of loyal customers to add more services to their existing platforms. In the long run, Zscaler now believes it can reach consistent profitability and positive cash flow by fiscal 2020, and that has many shareholders excited about the prospects for continued cloud expansion and greater demand for the company's services.
Cloudera's model is paying off
Finally, Cloudera saw its stock jump 12%. The maker of machine learning and analytics platforms reported a 25% rise in total revenue in the third quarter of its 2019 fiscal year, with subscription revenue increasing at an even faster 28% pace. Adjusted net losses narrowed from the previous year's period, and Cloudera managed to make more from its sales by improving margin levels. At this point, the company is most excited about its pending merger with Hortonworks, and the all-stock offer helped send Hortonworks flying higher today as well in anticipation of shared success after the deal's expected closing in early 2019.