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Why Gartner's Shares Popped 20.9% Today

By Travis Hoium - May 4, 2021 at 2:06PM

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The earnings beat was big, but guidance should get investors' attention.

What happened 

Shares of Gartner (IT 0.70%) jumped as much as 20.9% in trading on Tuesday after the company reported first-quarter 2021 financial results. Shares gave up some of those gains throughout the day but were up 13% at 1:40 p.m. EDT. 

So what

Revenue rose 8.4% versus a year ago to $1.1 billion and was slightly ahead of expectations. Net income more than doubled from $75 million to $164.1 million, or $1.84 per share. On an adjusted basis, earnings were $2 per share, beating estimates of $1.05 per share by a wide margin.

Hand adding coins to the first of growing stacks of coins with small plants on top

Image source: Getty Images.

The total contract value was up 5.8% on a currency-neutral basis to $3.7 billion, indicating that more growth is ahead. And management increased total revenue guidance from $4.4 billion to $4.5 billion and free cash flow guidance from $630 million to $850 million. 

Now what

Gartner's business seems to be hitting on all cylinders with research, consulting, and conferences expected to grow this year. And the top-line growth is translating to better cash margins, which can be seen by improved free cash flow expectations in 2020. As the economy gets back to more normal operations, Gartner is likely to be a beneficiary, which we're seeing the market realize today. 

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