What happened

Shares of Snowflake (SNOW 1.65%) soared on Thursday, following the cloud-based data management company's first earnings report since its initial public offering (IPO) in September.

As of 3:13 p.m. EST, Snowflake's stock was up more than 12% after rising as much as 17.2% earlier in the day.

So what

Snowflake's third-quarter revenue soared 119% year over year to $159.6 million. The data platform company is benefiting from a powerful combination of new customer additions and higher sales to existing clients. Its total customer count surged 84%, to 3,554, at the end of October. Meanwhile, its net revenue retention rate -- which measures sales to a cohort of customers from one year to the next -- came in at a sterling 162%.

"Our vision of the Snowflake Data Cloud mobilizing the world's data is clearly resonating across our customer base," CEO Frank Slootman said in a press release.

A person is pointing to an upwardly sloping digital stock chart.

Snowflake's shares rose sharply on Thursday. Image source: Getty Images.

Still, as a newly public company, Snowflake is not yet profitable. Management is investing aggressively in growth initiatives. Rising expenses, in turn, led Snowflake to post an operating loss of $169 million, compared to a loss of $90 million in the prior-year period.

Now what

As businesses increasingly shift their processes to the cloud, Snowflake is enjoying soaring demand for its data warehousing solutions. And much more growth lies ahead. Management pegs Snowflake's current market opportunity at $14 billion. This leaves tremendous room for expansion for a company that's projected to generate roughly $540 million in revenue in fiscal 2021.