Qix Engine

Qlik bills its Qlik Indexing Engine, or "QIX," as the most powerful associative data indexing engine available. Products like QIX enable smarter searching, a service that's currently much in demand. Image source: Qlik.com.

What: Shares of visual analytics software provider Qlik Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:QLIK) rose 15.7% during the month of July, according to S&P Capital I.Q. data.

So what: Qlik stock benefited from anticipation of the company's second-quarter 2015 earnings report, which was released on July 23. The QLIK ticker marched up steadily in the three weeks leading up to earnings, appreciating 7.5%, and doubled that gain over the last week of trading after the release of positive results.

Qlik reported $145.8 million in revenue, an 11% increase over the prior-year quarter. On a constant-currency basis, that is, after adjusting for the effects of foreign currency changes, revenue increased 26%.

The company's performance was paced by licensing revenue, which increased 14% versus the prior year to $76.3 million. Qlik's second-largest segment, maintenance revenue, expanded by approximately 10%, to $56.0 million. Management cited the performance of Qlik Sense as a key driver behind the quarter's results. Qlik Sense software allows non-technical users within an organization to run analytical data queries, and receive results in intuitive visual formats such as user dashboards. Qlik Sense adoption-powered revenue gains of 16% in the Americas region and 6% in Europe, according to CFO Tim MacCarrick. 

Operating margin, as in the prior-year quarter, came in slightly negative. Qlik lost $9.9 million from operations during the quarter (the company booked a total net loss of $13.0 million). The negative operating margin widened by roughly 1.4% versus Q2 2014. This was due in part to a hiring surge, as Qlik added 188 employees from the prior sequential quarter -- a nearly 9% increase in its workforce. Management stated that it took advantage of a stronger pool of candidates during the quarter, and expected that hiring would moderate in the back half of the year.

Now what: With its 2nd quarter earnings release, Qlik upped full year revenue guidance by $10 million, to a range of between $610-$620 million. This will represent a 10%-11% annual top-line growth rate. The company is enjoying both steady customer adoption and widening recognition of its approach to data analytics, which seeks to level the playing field for non-technical users. As CEO Lars Björk pointed out during the earnings conference call with analysts, Forbes recently named Qlik the 10th most innovative company in the world. For investors, the next item to grasp will be the scale of revenue growth Qlik is targeting for next year, as it moves closer to its goal of reaching $1 billion in annual sales.

Asit Sharma has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Qlik Technologies. 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.