What happened

Shares of Beijing-based data center company 21Vianet Group (VNET -5.85%) were 12.1% higher at 11:50 a.m. EDT on Wednesday after the company reported first-quarter 2021 earnings last night that slightly outpaced analyst predictions for the quarter.

Heading into the first quarter, Wall Street had predicted 21Vianet would book $209.5 million in sales for the quarter. In fact, the revenue number was $211.7 million, a modest sales beat.

Stock up glowing green arrow climbs on a stock screen

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Sales for the 2021 first quarter grew 27% in comparison to the year-ago period, and the company reported a 60% increase in adjusted EBITDA.

Management described its results as "solid," with "revenues inside our guidance range, adjusted EBITDA reaching the high-end of our guidance." 21Vianet still lost money: $0.02 per share, and $0.12 per American depositary receipt, each of which bundles six domestic Chinese shares.  

Now what

On future guidance, 21Vianet said it expects revenue to range from 1.470 billion yuan to 1.490 billion yuan ($229 million to $232 million) in the second quarter -- somewhere between 6% and 7% sequential growth. For the year, management predicts 6.1 billion yuan to 6.300 billion yuan in revenue -- growth of 28% at the midpoint.

Assuming 21Vianet hits that latter target, it will only match Wall Street projections for the year: 28.4% sales growth. Personally, I'm not certain that news like the above justifies a sudden 12% hike to 21Vianet's share price, but investors do appear to like it.