What happened

Shares of Cardlytics (NASDAQ:CDLX) have popped today, up by 18% as of 11:45 a.m. EST, after the purchase analytics company and loyalty program operator reported preliminary fourth-quarter earnings results that easily crushed expectations.

So what

Revenue in the fourth quarter is expected to be in the range of $68.5 million to $69.5 million, which is well above both the $59 million in sales that analysts are modeling for, as well as Cardlytics' own guidance of $55 million to $59 million in revenue. Billings should be in the range of $99 million to $101 million, compared to the company's outlook of $82 million to $88 million.

Person taking a loyalty card out of a wallet

Image source: Getty Images.

"We experienced strong growth in 2019, as illustrated by a meaningful acceleration in the back half of the year," CEO Scott Grimes said in a statement. "We are pleased with the incremental budget expansions that contributed to our revenue performance in the fourth quarter, which is expected to be above our prior guidance."

Now what

Grimes added that financial institution monthly active users (FI MAUs) are expected to continue growing in 2020, thanks to Cardlytics' ongoing phased launch of its partnership with Wells Fargo. That launch began in November.

Cardlytics said it was releasing the preliminary results ahead of an investor conference. Grimes is scheduled to present at the ICR Conference this afternoon and is now free to discuss the preliminary results because the company has disclosed them more broadly. The chief executive will present at 3:30 p.m. EST.