Shares of Upstart Holdings (UPST 9.21%), a cloud-based artificial intelligence lending platform, were surging higher this morning after the company reported fourth-quarter revenue and earnings that blew past analysts' consensus estimates.
The tech stock was up by 31% at 10:19 a.m. ET.
Upstart's diluted earnings per share of $0.89 easily outpaced Wall Street's expectation of $0.51 per share. Additionally, the company's fourth-quarter sales of $304.8 million -- an increase of 252% from the year-ago quarter -- was much higher than analysts' consensus revenue estimate of $262.9 million.
Dave Girouard, Upstart's co-founder and CEO, said in a press release that the company reached "record profits" in the quarter and that its recent push in the automotive loan origination space will "provide growth opportunities to Upstart for years to come."
In addition to beating analysts' revenue and earnings estimates, investors were also happy with the fact that Upstart's board of directors announced a $400 million share repurchase plan.
Investors typically like to see a company buy back some of its shares because it can boost the value of existing shares by reducing the supply of outstanding shares. Buybacks also indicate that the company is doing well financially and can thus use some of its cash to repurchase shares.
Upstart hit a home run for its fourth quarter, and investors are understandably excited about their investment today.
And with the company still in the early stages of tapping into the vast $635 billion automotive loan market, it's likely that Upstart's CEO is right about the company's potential to continue growing in the years ahead.