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Why Shares of ServiceNow Popped Today

By Timothy Green – Updated Apr 25, 2019 at 12:35AM

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The cloud company put up impressive fourth-quarter numbers.

What happened

Shares of ServiceNow (NOW -1.72%), a provider of cloud-based services aimed at automating IT operations, jumped on Thursday after the company reported its fourth-quarter results. ServiceNow beat analyst estimates for both revenue and earnings, enough to send the stock up 15.7% by 11:30 a.m. EST.

So what

ServiceNow reported fourth-quarter revenue of $715.4 million, up 30% year over year. Non-GAAP revenue was $723.7 million, about $6 million higher than the average analyst estimate. Non-GAAP subscription revenue grew 35% year over year to $573.6 million, while subscription billings rose 39% year over year to $958.9 million.

An electronic cloud.

Image source: Getty Images.

ServiceNow closed 51 transactions with more than $1 million in net new annual contract value during the fourth quarter. The company now has 678 customers with more than $1 million in annual contract value, a number that's up 33% from one year ago. Non-GAAP earnings per share came in at $0.77, $0.14 higher than analysts were expecting.

"Our role as a strategic partner to the world's largest enterprises continues to accelerate. As we look to another strong year of growth in 2019, we remain committed to enabling companies' digital transformation by making work, work better for people," said ServiceNow CEO John Donahoe.

Now what

ServiceNow expects to produce non-GAAP subscription revenue between $736 million and $741 million in the first quarter of 2019, representing year-over-year growth between 35% and 36%. Subscription billings are expected to grow by 30% to 31%, to a range of $831 million to $836 million.

While ServiceNow is a very expensive stock, now trading for nearly 90 times full-year non-GAAP earnings, strong growth was enough for investors to bid up the stock even further on Thursday.

Check out the latest ServiceNow earnings call transcript.

Timothy Green has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Service Now. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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