What happened

Shares of Pinterest (NYSE:PINS) were up 18.8% last month, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence. The image-centric platform closed October by reporting quarterly earnings, with analysts and investors continuing to take notice throughout November. 

So what

For Pinterest's third quarter, it reported year-over-year user growth of 37% and revenue growth of 58%. When revenue growth outpaces user growth, it means the company's platform monetization is improving -- and that's a big deal. Average revenue per user (ARPU) is just $1.03 globally right now, leaving plenty of room for future growth. The progress Pinterest has already made this year suggests it will able be to seize its ongoing opportunity.

A dollar bill folded into the shape of an upward arrow.

Image source: Getty Images.

Quarterly reports can take a little bit of time to digest, but it didn't take analysts too long to increase their expectations for Pinterest going forward. For example, Loop Capital analyst Rob Sanderson raised the firm's price target for Pinterest stock from $44 per share to $80 per share, according to The Fly. In fact, Sanderson believes Pinterest is on its way to becoming a $150 billion company in the next five years because of its monetization progress.

Now what

Sanderson is referring to Pinterest's market capitalization. Market cap represents the value of all outstanding shares combined. Right now, Pinterest's market cap is around $42 billion. Therefore, Sanderson is saying the stock can more than triple over the next five years -- a market-crushing performance.

While I certainly believe it's attainable for Pinterest, I'd be hesitant to put a timetable on this kind of performance. Rather than staring at my calendar, I'm watching how Pinterest continues to educate businesses on how to best advertise on the platform. I'm also monitoring the company's progress with e-commerce integrations. These efforts, if successful, will drive that user monetization and could result in strong shareholder returns over the long run.

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.