What happened

Many cloud companies saw their share prices rise in May, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. I'm going to focus on non-SQL database veteran MongoDB (NASDAQ:MDB), infrastructure-as-a-service expert Nutanix (NASDAQ:NTNX), and software management specialist New Relic (NYSE:NEWR). Here's how these stocks performed last month:

^SPX Chart

^SPX data by YCharts.

So what

For the most part, these gains were part of a larger rebound from the depth of the COVID-19 shutdown in March. The S&P 500 has climbed 34% since March 18, and my three tickers simply amplified that gain. New Relic is up by 90% over this period, MongoDB gained 94%, and Nutanix posted a 98% return.

New Relic accelerated its upward trajectory with a solid fourth-quarter report on May 14. The company beat Wall Street's estimates across the board but also issued slightly pessimistic next-quarter guidance. Many of New Relic's customers fall into the small-business sector, and some of them are having trouble paying their bills at the moment. The company is also knee-deep in closing down its physical data centers and moving into public cloud services instead, which will weigh on profit margins for the next couple of quarters. That being said, management said that these issues should be short-lived and the long-term growth opportunity in 2021 and beyond remains exciting.

A yellow charting arrow crashes upwards through a blue brick wall.

Image source: Getty Images.

MongoDB didn't have much news to share in May, but investors and analysts expected an impressive showing in early June's first-quarter report. The company absolutely demolished Wall Street's official expectations, but MongoDB's stock still fell more than 7% the next day. The pre-earnings market momentum turned out to be just a little bit too strong, so some MongoDB investors felt that it was time to take some profits off the table.

As for Nutanix, the cloud-based infrastructure specialist also crushed analysts' estimates in a late-May third-quarter report. The road to that impressive financial report was somewhat bumpy, including a couple of significant drops along the way as management withdrew its full-year guidance and furloughed 1,465 workers in the San Francisco area. It expects that the cost-saving habits the company is acquiring during the coronavirus crisis will stick around for years to come, herding Nutanix toward more efficient and more profitable operations.

Now what

I'm talking about three well-managed companies here, all in the red-hot cloud sector, where strong revenue growth should be easy to find for years to come. All of them are trading double-digit percentages below their 52-week highs, which counts as a serious discount in the high-growth corner of Wall Street. Importantly, I believe that all three should be able to shrug off a second wave of COVID-19 infections if it turns out that states started reopening a bit too early.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.