Upwork (UPWK 0.09%) stock is soaring following the company's recent first-quarter earnings release. The gig-economy company's share price was up roughly 16% as of 9:45 a.m. ET Thursday.
Upwork published its Q1 results after the market closed on Wednesday, delivering sales and earnings performance for the period that came in well above the market's expectations. The business posted a non-GAAP (adjusted) loss per share of $0.03 on revenue of $141.34 million in the period, while the average analyst estimate had called for an adjusted loss of $0.14 per share on revenue of $135.76 million.
Upwork's total revenue rose 24% year over year in the first quarter, with marketplace revenue climbing 24% compared to the prior-year period and managed-services revenue rising 33% to reach $11.9 million.
The company ended the quarter with roughly 793,000 active clients, which was up from about 771,000 clients at the end of the first quarter. In addition to bringing new users on board, the platform also benefited from increased spending from clients. Gross sales volume (GSV) per active client rose 18% year over year to reach $4,742, and total GSV conducted through its platform rose 27% year over year to over $1 billion.
Upwork's forward guidance also came in better than expected and is pleasing the market. The company expects to post an adjusted loss per share between $0.06 and $0.10 in the current quarter, which is significantly better than the previous average analyst target for a loss of $0.21 per share. Sales for the second quarter are projected to be between $147 million and $151 million, suggesting roughly 20% growth year over year at the midpoint of the target and topping the average analyst estimate for sales of $142.43 million in the period.
For the full-year period, Upwork anticipates sales to be between $590 million and $610 million. The midpoint estimate for sales of $600 million was once again significantly better than the previous average analyst target for sales of $595.4 million on the year.
Upwork now has a market capitalization of roughly $2.9 billion and is valued at approximately 4.9 times this year's expected sales.