NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Workday (WDAY - Get Report) shares surged after the cloud computing company posted a narrower-than-expected loss for its first quarter, and expects fiscal 2014 revenue to be sharply higher than what Wall Street is looking for.
For the three months ended in April, the maker of HR software reported a non-GAAP loss of 13 cents a share on $159.7 million in sales, up 74% from the year-ago period. Billings, an important metric for cloud computing companies, surged 94% year over year to $208 million.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were looking for a loss of 15 cents a share.
"Our fiscal year is off to a great start with strong customer demand for our newest application, Workday Recruiting, and double digit customer growth for Workday Financial Management," said Aneel Bhusri, co-founder and CEO, Workday in the press release. "Our technology innovations, including our recent move to a single code line for development, enabled us to update all customers on Workday 22 in less than six hours -- creating more value for our customers and setting new expectations for the industry."
"We are very pleased with our strong first quarter results," said Workday's CFO Mark Peek, in the release. "Looking ahead, we expect our second quarter revenues to be within a range of $173 and $178 million or growth of 61% to 65% as compared to the prior year. Total revenues for the year are anticipated to be in the range of $730 and $750 million or growth of 56% to 60%. Total billings3 in the first quarter were $208 million and benefited from several new large customers. We expect total billings for the second quarter to decrease sequentially. For the year, we expect total billings to be approximately $890 to $910 million."
For the second quarter, Workday expects revenue will be between $173 million and $178 million, and for the full year, it expects sales will be between $730 million and $750 million. Analysts were looking for $171.3 million and $735.4 million in sales, respectively.
Shares of Pleasanton, Calif.-based Workday were surging in early Wednesday trading, gaining 5.9% to $87.00.
Following the conference call, analysts were exceptionally positive on the cloud computing giant, as it seeks to enter new markets and take on the likes of Oracle (ORCL), salesforce.com (CRM), and other cloud computing giants. Here's what a few analysts had to say.