What happened

Shares of Qualtrics International (NASDAQ:XM) soared on Thursday after the company reported financial results for the first quarter of 2021. It beat Wall Street's expectations on both the top and bottom lines. And management raised its full-year guidance, resulting in several upgraded price targets from analysts. This is why the stock was up 24% as of noon EDT today.

So what

Qualtrics, through its subscription software, helps companies improve experiences for their major stakeholders, including employees. This is important considering how much change the workplace experienced in 2020 with the pandemic and how much it will still experience. Against this backdrop, Qualtrics has been in high demand, which is reflected in its financial results. It generated first-quarter revenue of $238.6 million, up 36% year over year and almost 5% ahead of the high end of its previous guidance.

A businesswoman draws an exponential growth curve over a bar chart displayed on a transparent touchscreen.

Image source: Getty Images.

Previously, Qualtric's management had guided for full-year 2021 revenue of $950 million to $954 million. With its earnings report, management raised guidance to a range of $980 million to $984 million -- a substantial increase. Perhaps this improved outlook is why Wall Street is all abuzz today, with several analysts raising their price targets for Qualtrics stock, to a range of $41 to $48, according to The Fly.

Now what

Qualtrics stock is likely flying under the radar for a lot of investors because it only just had its initial public offering (IPO) earlier this year. Because of the IPO, stock-based compensation was abnormally high for the company in the first quarter, resulting in a $203 million noncash expense. For perspective, its net loss was $200 million in the quarter. Therefore, stock-based compensation wiped out any chance at profits.

Management said this should mitigate in the future. However, it's something for investors to keep an eye on in coming quarters. 

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