Why Shares of Tableau Software Inc. Surged Today

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 , a provider of data analytics software, jumped on Friday after the company easily beat analyst estimates when it reported its first-quarter earnings. By 11:30 Friday morning, the stock was up more than 13%.

So what: Tableau reported revenue of $130.1 million, up 75% year-over-year and about $15 million higher than what analysts were expecting. During the first quarter, Tableau added 2,600 new customers, bringing its total customer base to 29,000. Licensing revenue grew 74% to $84.4 million, while maintenance and services revenue grew by 75% to $45.7 million.

Tableau reported non-GAAP net income of $0.08 per share, far better than the $0.03-per-share loss that analysts were expecting and the $0.01-per-share loss that the company reported in the first quarter of 2014. On a GAAP basis, net income declined to a loss of $0.14 per share, worse than the $0.09-per-share loss reported in the first quarter of 2014.

Along with the earnings beat, strong guidance from the company helped propel the stock higher. Tableau expects revenue in the second quarter to be between $135 million and $140 million, higher than the $130.9 million analyst consensus, and for full-year revenue to be between $600 million and $610 million, also higher than a $587.7 million analyst consensus. The high end of this guidance range for the full year represents 48% revenue growth.

Now what: Tableau is having great success driving adoption of its software, but like many small, fast-growing software companies, it both loses money on a GAAP basis thanks to high sales and marketing spending, and sports a sky-high price-to-sales ratio. After the rise in the stock price today, Tableau trades at about 18.6 times 2014 sales.

While Tableau had a great quarter, investors need to be aware of the extremely optimistic assumptions built into Tableau's valuation before considering investing in the stock.

The article Why Shares of Tableau Software Inc. Surged Today originally appeared on Fool.com.

Timothy Green has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. 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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