What happened

Shares of LivePerson (NASDAQ:LPSN) soared on Wednesday after the provider of conversational commerce solutions reported its first-quarter results. While the numbers were mixed relative to analyst expectations, the company predicted that it would return to profitability one quarter ahead of schedule. The stock was up 41% at 1:35 p.m. EDT.

So what

LivePerson reported first-quarter revenue of $78.1 million, up 17.6% year over year and about $1 million higher than the average analyst estimate. The company signed 130 deals during the quarter, 10% more than in the prior-year period. Average revenue per enterprise and mid-market customer jumped more than 20% to $365,000.

A rising chart.

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Earnings per share came in at a loss of $0.57, worse than a loss of $0.31 in the prior-year period. On an adjusted basis, EPS was a loss of $0.41, missing analyst expectations by $0.20. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization was a loss of $4.6 million, worse than a loss of $3.2 million in the first quarter of last year.

LivePerson now expects full-year revenue between $340 million and $355 million, compared to previous guidance of $350 million to $355 million. The widening of that guidance range was due to uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. The company expects to reduce its 2020 expenses by between $7.5 million and $16.5 million more than its prior guidance, which will put it on track to return to profitability sooner than expected.

Now what

LivePerson is benefiting from the work-from-home trend. "The COVID crisis was a wake up call that the legacy call center model is a relic and incapable of supporting a remote from home workforce," said CEO Rob LoCascio. "Whereas the corporate world turned to video conferencing applications to support office workers, LiveEngage is filling the void for the contact center."

The company is still facing challenges, including general economic uncertainty, potentially longer sales cycles, and customer attrition. But for now, investors are happy with its results.