Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of Tableau Software (NYSE:DATA) soared on Thursday thanks to the company's blowout fourth-quarter results. As of 1 p.m. the stock was up more than 17%.
So what: Tableau blew past analyst estimates for both earnings and revenue. Analysts were expecting just $0.11 in per-share non-GAAP earnings, and Tableau nearly quadrupled that number. On a GAAP basis, Tableau's $0.27 EPS was well above analyst estimates for a loss of a penny per share. The company's 75% year-over-year revenue growth also handily beat analyst estimates.
Strong enterprise demand for Tableau's analytics products drove rapid growth in both licensing and international revenue, up 75% and 86%, respectively. Tableau added in excess of 2,600 new customer accounts during the quarter, and 304 transactions were valued at over $100,000, a rise of 70% year-over-year.
Now what: Tableau's guidance for 2015 calls for slower growth this year. The company expects revenue to come in between $565 million and $580 million for the full year, representing just 39% growth at the midpoint of that range. Revenue grew by 78% in 2014.
However, predicting the revenue and earnings of a fast-growing company like Tableau is a difficult, if not impossible, task. Given how much the company beat analyst estimates during the fourth quarter, its guidance for 2015 could prove to be conservative. Tableau's valuation is certainly frothy, with the stock now trading at over 18 times sales, so investors should be aware that they're paying an extremely high price for this growth.