What happened

The stock market was having a so-so day on Thursday, with the Dow Jones, S&P 500, and Nasdaq all slightly in the red at 11 a.m. EDT. Insurance distribution platform provider SelectQuote (NYSE:SLQT) is another story, with shares soaring by 16% on the day.

So what

Why? The short answer is that SelectQuote reported earnings that blew past expectations. The company's revenue grew by 90% year over year to $141 million, which was nearly $22 million more than analysts had been looking for. And it earned $0.13 per share for the quarter, well in excess of what the market had been expecting.

Man smiling while using laptop.

Image source: Getty Images.

Perhaps even more important, SelectQuote issued guidance for its 2021 fiscal year for revenue in the range of $775 million to $815 million, and even the low end of this range exceeds previous expectations.

Now what

SelectQuote could be just starting to scratch the surface of the long-term potential of its direct-to-consumer insurance sales platform. The company is a recent IPO and has captured less than a 1% share of its total $180 billion addressable market opportunity in all three of its core markets -- seniors, life insurance, and auto and home insurance. At a valuation of about eight times trailing-12-month sales, SelectQuote isn't exactly a cheap stock, but it could still be a good value if it can manage to keep its impressive growth story alive.

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.