What happened

Shares of Alteryx (AYX) were surging today after the company announced better-than-expected revenue growth for the third quarter, and named a new CEO in a surprising move. 

As of 9:56 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, the stock was up 27.2%.

A man looking at several different monitors displaying data.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Alteryx said it now expects to deliver revenue of $126 million to $128 million when it releases its third-quarter earnings report on Nov. 5, representing 22% to 24% growth. That will be much better than its prior guidance of $111 million to $115 million, or just 7% to 11% growth.

Shares of the provider of data analytics software had tumbled when the company originally offered that guidance in its second-quarter earnings report, falling 35% over a two-day span. So today's gains recouped some of those losses.

Additionally, the company said that Mark Anderson would take over as CEO, effective immediately, replacing its founder, Dean Stoecker, who will remain as chairman of the board and was also named as executive chairman. The CEO transition came as a surprise to investors, but Stoecker is in his mid-60's, so it makes some sense that he is stepping down from the day-to-day role of running the business.

Anderson was previously president of Palo Alto Networks, a cybersecurity technology company, and had been on the Alteryx board for two years, perhaps being groomed to take over the leadership position.

Anderson said: "I am honored and excited to be Alteryx's new CEO. Digital transformation is accelerating globally and Alteryx's product vision and strategic positioning align closely with the market convergence of people, process and data. Building and enabling high performing teams -- especially at Alteryx's stage -- is my professional and personal passion."

Stoecker added, "When I decided to transition from day-to-day operations, it was clear to me that Mark is the ideal candidate to serve as Alteryx's next CEO given his passion for our company and our newly created Analytic Process Automation category, coupled with his experience in scaling organizations."

Now what

It was unclear what drove the better-than-expected performance by Alteryx in the third quarter. Some of the headwinds from the second quarter, including a longer sales cycle for new business, may have dissipated as the economy normalized, and the original guidance was likely on the conservative side as well.

Investors will learn more when the complete earnings report comes out on Nov. 5. Analysts expect earnings per share to slip from $0.24 to $0.12, though that forecast is likely to improve following the strong pre-earnings revenue numbers.