What happened

Pegasystems (NASDAQ:PEGA) investors beat the market last month as the stock gained 11% compared to a 2% increase in the S&P 500, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. The rally added to significant gains, with the software specialist rising nearly 60% through the first 10 months of 2019.

A customer service employee talking on a headset.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

October's increase came as investors became more bullish about Pegasystems' global growth trends. Sales gains had rebounded in the second quarter, and management was predicting further gains to come in the second half of fiscal 2019. Shareholders were hoping to hear more encouraging news when Pegasystems reported its Q3 results just a few days into November.

Now what

The company did announce a second straight quarter of accelerating sales growth this week, with surging demand for cloud services more than offsetting its prior licensing-based products. Sales rose 7% in the third quarter, but total contract values, which better describes demand in the subscription-focused business, jumped 20%.

That result matches the company's broader outlook and keeps Pegasystems on track to begin cashing in on its more stable, cloud-based sales footprint into 2020 and beyond.