What happened

Shares of LivePerson (NASDAQ:LPSN) gained 56.4% in May 2020, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The maker of AI-powered chatbots and highly automated business communication tools is a big winner in the COVID-19 era, as proven in a solid first-quarter report in early May.

So what

LivePerson's first-quarter sales rose 18% year over year to $78 million. Adjusted net losses increased from $0.25 to $0.41 per share. The analyst consensus pointed to a net loss of $0.21 per share on sales near $77 million, so this was a mixed report.

Based on these results and ongoing business trends, LivePerson offered an improved full-year outlook. Operating losses are now seen near $15 million, compared to $21 million three months ago. Management expect adjusted EBITDA profits of roughly $7 million, up from a breakeven view in the original full-year guidance.

All things considered, investors saw this combination as a strong report. LivePerson's share prices surged more than 40% higher the next day.

A hand holds a smartphone, where the screen is showing a live chat.

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

The company is taking its own advice, automating its own internal processes to save approximately $12 million on more efficient operations. Other companies are following the same trajectory, growing LivePerson's actual and potential client lists along the way. Management expects the resulting business benefits to have more staying power than those of other COVID-19 winners.

"Companies like Zoom and Netflix are transactional beneficiaries of how shelter-in-place is changing our lives. As users download their apps, it shows in the results," CEO Rob LoCascio said in LivePerson's first-quarter earnings call. "We believe LivePerson is a transformational beneficiary. Our customers are embarking on generational shifts that will materialize in our results for years to come. We will emerge from COVID pandemic, a much stronger company."

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