What happened

Shares of Zebra Technologies (ZBRA -1.24%) galloped higher today, up by as much as 12% to all-time highs, after the company reported fourth-quarter results that beat analyst expectations. As of 11:25 a.m. EST on Thursday, the stock was up 9%.

So what

Revenue in the fourth quarter increased 10% to $1.31 billion, topping the consensus estimate of $1.25 billion in sales. That resulted in adjusted net income of $240 million, or $4.46 per share. Wall Street analysts were looking for just $3.80 per share in adjusted profits. The technology company, which provides bar code scanners and handheld readers, reported adjusted EBITDA of $308 million.

Hand holding a barcode reader scanning a product

Image source: Getty Images.

"We entered the new year with a strong order backlog as small-business demand recovers and business with our large customers continues to be robust," CEO Anders Gustafsson said in a statement. "This positions us well for double-digit sales growth for the first quarter and full year 2021."

Now what

Guidance for the first quarter was also strong. Revenue is expected to grow in a range of 25% to 29%, reaching $1.32 billion to $1.36 billion, compared to the $1.14 billion in sales that analysts are currently modeling for. Some of that growth is attributable to Zebra's acquisition of Reflexis, which closed last September. Adjusted earnings per share are forecast in the range of $4.30 to $4.50, well above the consensus estimate of $3.16.

For the full year 2021, revenue should grow 10% to 14% to a range of $4.9 billion to $5.1 billion.