What happened

Shares of Zscaler (NASDAQ:ZS) skyrocketed on Thursday after the cloud security company delivered excellent first-quarter results. 

So what

Zscaler's revenue surged 52% year over year to $142.6 million, as the COVID-19 crisis prompted more companies to shift their operations to the cloud. "I believe our financial results demonstrate Zscaler's pivotal role in enabling our customers' digital transformation journeys, which are accelerating at a pace never seen before," CEO Jay Chaudhry said during a conference call with analysts.

A digital lock and key.

Zscaler's cybersecurity solutions are in high demand during the coronavirus pandemic. Image source: Getty Images.

Zscaler is also becoming more profitable as it expands its revenue base. Its adjusted net income improved to $20 million, up from $4.9 million in the year-ago quarter. Additionally, Zscaler's operating and free cash flow increased to $53.5 million and $42.2 million, respectively, from $21.4 million and $9.4 million in the prior-year period.

Now what 

Zscaler's tools help businesses grant their employees secure access to their cloud-based applications. With many people working from home during the pandemic, companies have turned to Zscaler in droves to protect their digital networks.

Moreover, while coronavirus vaccines could help people return to their traditional work locations in the months ahead, the shift to the cloud is a long-term trend that will continue long after the COVID-19 crisis subsides. Thus, investors can expect Zscaler to continue to grow briskly in the coming years.

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