What happened

Morningstar (NASDAQ:MORN) shares outperformed a surging market last month. The stock jumped 34% compared to a 13% increase in the S&P 500, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The rally put the software specialist back ahead of the market so far in 2020, but shares are still modestly lower this year.

A trader looking at charts on computer screens.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Investors celebrated the financial research firm's first-quarter earnings results that showed solid sales growth. Revenue jumped 25%, management revealed on April 29, thanks to a 12% organic sales boost and extra revenue from acquired businesses. Transaction volumes spiked in its DBRS Morningstar division, but tighter credit markets started to pinch the business as stock indexes plunged in late March.

"We successfully transitioned our global workforce to remote work environments," CEO Kunal Kapoor said in a press release, "while delivering our core data research, and ratings without interruption during this period of unprecedented market volatility."

Now what

Kapoor and his team didn't issue specific outlook targets for the fiscal second quarter that began on April 1 and will reflect bigger COVID-19 impacts. But investors should get an updated reading on Morningstar's outlook when the company holds its annual shareholder meeting on Friday, May 15.