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Why Shares of Qualys Inc. Rose on Tuesday

By Timothy Green – Aug 4, 2015 at 1:56PM

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The cloud security company reported a higher profit than expected, giving a boost to its already expensive shares.

What: Shares of cloud security company Qualys (QLYS 2.63%) jumped on Tuesday after the company reported its second-quarter results, matching analyst estimates for revenue and beating estimates for earnings. The stock was up as much as 18% early in the day and by 1:50 p.m. was up 4.6% from the previous close.

So what: Qualys reported quarterly revenue of $39.9 million, up 23% year-over-year and in-line with analyst estimates. The company pointed to both subscription sales to new customers and upsells to existing customers as the drivers behind this revenue growth.

The company reported non-GAAP EPS of $0.16, up from $0.11 during the same period last year and five cents higher than analyst estimates. Qualys' deferred revenue balance rose by 22% year-over-year, leading to $15 million of free cash flow for the first half of the year, a near-doubling compared to the first half of 2014.

Qualys' guidance for the third quarter was mostly in line with analyst estimates. The company expects revenue between $42 million and $42.5 million and non-GAAP EPS between $0.12 and $0.14. Analysts were expecting revenue and EPS of $42.8 million and $0.13, respectively.

Now what: While Qualys' results were solid, it's hard to justify this big of a jump. Shares are still well below peak levels from earlier this year, and following a sell-off back in May driven by weak guidance from the company, expectations were likely low.

Qualys is an extremely expensive stock, trading at around 10 times last year's sales, a valuation that its growth rate doesn't really justify. While investors are cheering Qualys' solid quarter by sending the shares higher, the stock's high price makes it a risky bet.

Timothy Green has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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