What happened

Shares of Zebra Technologies (NASDAQ:ZBRA) have galloped higher today, up by 7% as of noon EST, after the company reported third-quarter earnings. The results topped expectations and Zebra issued strong guidance for the fourth quarter.

So what

Revenue in the third quarter came in at $1.13 billion, ahead of the $1.07 billion in sales that analysts were modeling for. The enterprise technology company reported adjusted net income of $175 million, or $3.27 per share, which easily topped the consensus estimate of $2.81 per share in adjusted profits. Zebra generated adjusted EBITDA of $230 million during the quarter.

Green stock chart going up superimposed over map of the continents

Image source: Getty Images.

"Demand from our large strategic customers continues to be at record levels driven by accelerated trends to digitize and automate workflows as a result of the pandemic, while demand through the channel is recovering from the peak global macro pressure that we saw in the second quarter," CEO Anders Gustafsson said in a statement. "Our strong order backlog, sales momentum, and encouraging pipeline of business gives us confidence in a strong finish to the year."

Now what

Zebra's outlook for the fourth quarter also came in better than expected. Revenue is forecast to increase by 3% to 7%, translating into a range of $1.23 billion to $1.27 billion in dollar terms. Wall Street is currently looking for $1.16 billion in revenue next quarter. Adjusted earnings per share should be $3.70 to $3.90, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.28. The company noted that many of its customers "continue to navigate through a challenging macro environment."

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.