Lars Bjork, CEO, speaks at QlikTech's global partner summit. Credit: Qlik Technologies.

Shares of Qlik Technologies (NASDAQ:QLIK) stock were up 1.56% at 5:19 pm as late-action traders showed enthusiasm for the business-intelligence specialist's Q4 results. Here's a closer look at the final totals versus Wall Street's projections:

Qlik TechnologiesRevenueYOY GrowthEPSYOY Growth
Consensus estimate  $179.55 million  10.9%  $0.28  (9.7%)
Q4 actuals  $182.8 million  12.9%  $0.32  3.2%
DIFFERENCE  $3.25 million  2%  $0.04  12.9%

Sources: S&P Capital IQ and Qlik Technologies press release.

For the full year, Qlik reported $556.8 million in revenue and $0.24 a share in non-GAAP profit. Analysts tracked by S&P Capital IQ were calling for $554.02 million and $0.20 a share, respectively.

CEO Lars Bjork said in a press release announcing the results:

We believe we are well positioned entering 2015 as our dual product strategy, QlikView for guided analytics and Qlik Sense for self-service BI, opens up even more opportunity for us to fulfill companies' complete BI requirements. Our focus this year is to drive meaningful revenue growth while growing expenses at a slower rate, in order to realize incremental operating leverage. 

What went right: Sharp gains in deferred revenue, which more than doubled year over year, helped Qlik fill its coffers last year. Cash flow from operations surged nearly 20% as customers agreed to larger purchases. Specifically, Qlik cited 238 deals with license and first-year maintenance higher than $100,000, including 71 deals higher than $250,000, and nine deals higher than $1 million. That compares to 208 deals at more than $100,000 in last year's Q4, including 55 deals more than $250,000, and seven deals higher than $1 million.

What went wrong: Expense management, which shouldn't be surprising when you read Bjork's quote. Full-year gross margin fell to 86.4%, from 86.9% in 2013. From 2009 to 2012, Qlik had always maintained an 88% or better gross margin, S&P Capital IQ reports. Heavier investments in product development to better compete with the likes of MicroStrategy (NASDAQ:MSTR) and Tableau (NYSE:DATA) seem to have taken a toll.

What's next: Looking ahead, Qlik is aiming for $111 million to $115 million in first-quarter revenue and a $0.15 to $0.13 non-GAAP loss during the same period. Analysts tracked by S&P Capital IQ have the company generating $127.37 million in revenue and a $0.10 per share adjusted loss. In each case, Qlik's estimates are far more conservative, and represent virtually zero growth from last year's first quarter ($111.11 million and a $0.12 per share loss, respectively).

Longer term, they have Qlik Technologies generating 25.24% average annual earnings growth during the next three to five years.

Online, Tim Beyers is a serial clicker. He's also a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission and owned shares of Apple and Qlik Technologies at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool.

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