It's no secret that tech stocks have had a good year. Some, however, have had a downright outstanding year. Cybersecurity specialist CrowdStrike (NASDAQ:CRWD) is one of them. Shares of the fast-growing company have risen an extraordinary 170% year to date, crushing the S&P 500's 7% gain over the same time frame.

The growth stock's strong performance has earned it a lot of attention from investors, making its upcoming fiscal third-quarter earnings report on Dec. 2 extremely important.

Ahead of the company's quarterly update, here's an early preview of what investors should look for.

An icon in the shape of a shield, with a check mark inside the shield

Image source: Getty Images.

It's all about the growth story

CrowdStrike isn't your average growth stock. Revenue has been skyrocketing, rising 84% year over year in the company's most recent quarter. This uncanny growth put total quarterly revenue during the period at a record $199 million. 

Driving the quarter was an 89% year-over-year increase in subscription revenue, which accounted for 93% of the period's total sales.

"Organizations are shedding outdated systems and accelerating their move to modern cloud-native technologies to meet the demands of today's threat landscape," said CEO George Kurtz in the company's fiscal second-quarter earnings release. "Furthermore, as organizations adapt to the new distributed workforce paradigm, it has become clear that the endpoint is the new security perimeter, and the complex patchwork of legacy solutions is inadequate in this new environment."

It's important to note that CrowdStrike's momentum isn't just temporarily elevated due to the work-from-home trends related to the coronavirus pandemic. Revenue was surging last year, too. Revenue in the cybersecurity company's total fiscal 2020 (ended on Jan. 31, 2020) jumped 93% year over year. 

When CrowdStrike reports earnings, investors will look for the company to maintain its torrid growth. In its fiscal second-quarter update, the company guided for fiscal third-quarter revenue between $210 million and $215 million. Analysts on average expect revenue of $215.3 million, translating to about 70% year-over-year growth. 

Module adoption

Key to CrowdStrike's growth strategy is its ability to continue getting customers to adopt more of its cloud-based security modules. In the company's most recent quarter, 57% of customers had adopted four or more cloud modules, and 39% of customers had adopted five or more. When it reports earnings, investors should look for improvement in these important metrics.

And look for updates on potential entirely new modules. "[W]e're able to drive more profitability into our business as we continue to expand our module adoption, as well as, adding new modules to the platform," CFO Burt Podbere said in the company's fiscal second-quarter update.

CrowdStrike will report its third-quarter results after market close on Wednesday, Dec. 2.

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.