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Why Workday Stock Soared 23.3% in November

By Steve Symington - Dec 6, 2018 at 3:52PM

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The human-capital management leader delivered an exceptional quarter and raised its outlook last month.

What happened

Shares of Workday (WDAY 0.96%) climbed 23.3% in November, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, after the human-capital management (HCM) solutions company announced strong quarterly results and increased its full-year outlook.

That said, Workday stock drifted higher for the first few weeks of November. But shares popped nearly 13% on the final trading day of the month as the company revealed its fiscal third-quarter 2019 revenue had increased 33.8% year over year to $743.2 million, well above management's guidance for a range of $721 million to $723 million. On the bottom line, that translated to adjusted net income of $73.5 million, or $0.31 per share, more than double the $0.14 per share most investors were expecting.

Workday HCM software running on multiple devices including a notebook, tablet, and smartphones


So what

Workday CEO Aneel Bhusri called it a "great" quarter with "significant momentum across our suite of products."

To be sure, the company lauded its enviable 98% annual customer satisfaction rate, and expanded its product repertoire this quarter to include Workday People Analytics, an platform powered by artificial intelligence that provides customers with "key metrics [...] on the most critical activities in their business."

"We extended our market leadership in HCM, welcoming more Fortune 500 customers to the Workday community," Bhusri added, "and accelerated adoption of Workday Financial Management as more finance organizations move to the cloud."

Now what

During the subsequent conference call, Workday provided guidance for fiscal fourth-quarter revenue of $775 million to $777 million, up 33% year over year. The company also raised its full-year outlook to call for revenue of $2.808 billion to $2.810 billion, up from $2.765 billion to $2.772 billion before.

Finally, Workday provided preliminary guidance for next fiscal year's revenue to rise to a range of $3.00 billion to $3.01 billion, good for respectable growth of 26.5% over the midpoint of its current-year range.

All told, this was another straightforward beat-and-raise performance from Workday, leaving the market little choice but to bid up shares to record highs.

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