As earnings season begins to dwindle down, there are still some fast-growing tech stocks worth watching when their reports go live later this month. Zuora (ZUO 3.45%) and Workday (WDAY 0.39%), for instance, are two companies with cloud-based platforms that are seeing strong business growth. Zuora's subscription-management platform and Workday's enterprise applications for finance, human resources, planning, and analytics are helping the two companies win new customers and grow revenue at rapid rates.

Ahead of their earnings reports in two weeks, here's a preview of some key items to watch.

A Zuora banner displayed outside the New York Stock Exchange on the day of the company's IPO.

Image source: Zuora.


Benefitting from strong demand for subscription business models, Zuora's revenue increased 22% year over year in its most recent quarter (its first quarter of fiscal 2020), to $64.1 million. The company's subscription revenue increased 32% year over year, to $47.3 million, and professional services revenue rose 1%, to $16.8 million.

Investors will want to keep an eye on Zuora's growth in customers with annual contract values equal to or greater than $100,000. Though the company's 24% year-over-year growth in these customers during Q2 is impressive in its own right, it's a notable deceleration from the 27% growth Zuora saw in these customers in its fourth quarter of fiscal 2019.

Another metric worth checking on is Zuora's dollar-based retention rate, or a measurement of the change in spending for existing customers over the 12 months leading up to a quarter's end. The key metric declined from 112% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019 to 110% in the first quarter of fiscal 2020. While lumpiness in this growth rate is normal, several quarters in a row of deceleration for this metric could suggest the company is having trouble upselling existing customers. Investors, therefore, should look for a dollar-based retention rate of around 110% -- but hopefully it's even better.

Zuora reports its fiscal second-quarter results after market close Aug. 28. 


Workday's top line has been growing even faster than Zuora's. The company saw its fiscal first-quarter revenue rise 33.4% year over year, to $825 million. Its revenue during the period was fueled by a 34.3% year-over-year increase in subscription revenue, putting subscription revenue during the period at $701 million.

"We added many new customers across the globe -- increasing our footprint across the Fortune 50 and 500 -- and saw more existing customers expand their investment in Workday," said Workday CEO Aneel Bhusri in a press release about the quarter.

Investors may want to pay some attention to Workday's reported revenue growth in fiscal Q2. The company's top-line growth rate of 33.4% in fiscal Q1 was a deceleration from 35.4% growth in the prior quarter. Will this deceleration continue? 

For the full year of fiscal 2020, management said it expects revenue to increase 28% year over year. This implies a substantial deceleration in the second half of the year. While this may simply reflect conservatism on management's part, investors should still look to see just how meaningfully Workday's revenue growth rate comes down.

 Workday reports its second-quarter results after market close on Aug. 29.