Image: Cvent.

Anyone who has tried to put together a major event can appreciate the efforts that Cvent (NYSE:CVT) has made in creating cloud-based technology to assist throughout the planning process. Given the need for businesses and industry groups to gather together for conferences and other major forums, Cvent sees a solid opportunity for growth, and coming into its third-quarter financial report, Cvent investors had hoped the company would sustain its impressive pace of sales growth. Not only did Cvent deliver on its top-line potential, but it also managed to earn more than most investors had expected. Let's take a closer look at Cvent and how its most recent quarter went.

Cvent keeps on growing
Cvent's third-quarter results show how much potential the company still has left to grow even further. Revenue climbed 29% to $48.4 million, just slightly outdoing the consensus forecast among investors. It was on the bottom line that Cvent stood out, with adjusted net income soaring more than 80% to $6.8 million, and that caused adjusted earnings to double to $0.16 per share, far above the $0.08 that most investors had expected to see.

Cvent's growth was well-balanced, with both of its major divisions posting nearly identical performance. Platform Subscriptions sales matched the company's overall 29% growth rate, while revenue from the Hospitality Cloud area rose at a 30% clip.

Cvent also scored some big successes during the quarter. The company launched tradeshow booth-management system LeadCapture, and more than 100 new enterprise and mid-market customers buying its OnArrival event registration product within its OnSite Solutions suite. Cvent boasted event-management customers including the University of Virginia's alumni association and the world headquarters of sandwich-restaurant giant Subway, and it brought the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on board with its hospitality cloud platform.

CEO Reggie Aggarwal was happy about Cvent's positive momentum. "Customers are increasingly viewing Cvent as a broader solutions provider," Aggarwal said. "This is enabling us to drive larger deal sizes across the board as customers adopt multiple products and deploy our solutions across a larger cross-section of their organizations."

Can Cvent keep growing?
Aggarwal also noted that the acquisition of onsite technology solution provider Alliance Tech should help foster further growth. "With significant untapped opportunity throughout the meetings and event ecosystem," the CEO said, "we look forward to continuing to introduce compelling technology that reinforces our leadership position in the marketplace."

Cvent's guidance for the remainder of the year was mixed but generally positive. For the fourth quarter, revenue of $50.3 million to $50.7 million would be above the current expectations among investors, but adjusted net income of $0.02 to $0.03 per share is slightly worse than the consensus forecast. Nevertheless, when you integrate that guidance into the third-quarter results, full-year 2015 guidance for revenue between $187.1 million and $187.5 million and adjusted earnings of $0.27 to $0.28 per share is actually higher than what most investors have expected to see.

The big question strategically is whether Cvent will continue to be able to dominate the niche that it has carved out for itself. So far, major companies have seemed content to rely on broader business lines, and even struggling IBM (NYSE:IBM) hasn't seen fit to try to look to event planning as a major driver of future business. But IBM hasn't yet seen its cloud strategy crystallize to investors' satisfaction, and that raises the possibility that Big Blue might look for a niche in which to score a win and build some positive momentum of its own -- potentially at Cvent's expense.

For now, though, Cvent can celebrate the progress it has already made. With the company still identifying new opportunities for future growth, Cvent could just as easily become a takeover target for IBM or one of its peers, and that could lead to some truly impressive share-price gains if it were to happen.