What happened

Shares of Shopify (SHOP 0.19%), a provider of an e-commerce platform, surged on Wednesday. Shares jumped as much as 20.4%, and were up about 12.5% as of 11:17 a.m. EST today.

The stock's gain follows Shopify's fourth-quarter update, which included better-than-expected revenue and adjusted earnings per share. Management's rosy outlook for 2020 was also likely fueling investor optimism.

Shopify e-commerce platform on a smartphone, laptop, and tablet

Shopify's e-commerce platform. Image source: Shopify.

So what

Shopify reported revenue of $505.2 million, crushing analysts' average forecast for revenue of $482 million. Fourth-quarter revenue was up 47% year over year -- an acceleration from 45% revenue growth in Q3. That growth was fueled by a 47% increase in gross merchandise volume (GMV) processed on its platform.

Non-GAAP (adjusted) earnings per share came in at $0.43, up from $0.27 in the fourth quarter of 2018 and easily beating analysts' consensus estimate for $0.24. 

"Our investments to enhance our product offerings and expand internationally are attracting entrepreneurs worldwide and helping them succeed, as demonstrated by strong GMV growth in 2019," said CFO Amy Shapero in the tech company's fourth-quarter earnings release.

Now what

For the full year, Shopify said it expects revenue to be between $2.13 billion and $2.16 billion, up from total revenue of $1.578 billion in 2019. Analysts, on average, were expecting 2020 revenue of $2.11 billion.

"In 2020, we will continue to invest in our portfolio of growth initiatives to better serve merchants and energize the flywheel well into the future," Shapero said.