Why Workday (WDAY) Was Upgraded

Story updated at 10 a.m. to reflect market activity.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Workday (WDAY) was upgraded to "outperform" from "market perform" by FBR Capital Thursday.

Workday gained 9.7% to $110 in morning trading.

The analyst firm raised its price target for the software company to $150 from $84. Analyst Samad Samana said the upgrade is due to seeing higher sales demand across the board.

"Last night, Workday, Inc. (WDAY) reported solid F4Q14 (January) results that beat consensus revenue and EPS estimates," Samana said.

"Both subscription and support and professional services contributed to the revenue upside, as demand was healthy across the board. Most importantly, WDAY delivered much stronger-than-expected billings growth (+78% year over year) during the quarter, as customer spending on cloud-based HCM applications remained robust, sales head-count increases drove greater deal activity, and the company's financial management applications experienced accelerating adoption. While the installed base remains modest in size, a second quarter of double-digit new customer additions suggests efforts to make the financial applications more mature and deploying a dedicated sales force are paying dividends. On the bottom line, the company delivered EPS upside, which was a surprise given that it remains squarely in invest-for-growth mode. WDAY does not expect this pace of profitability expansion to continue in the near term. Looking forward, Workday also provided F1Q15 (April) and FY15 (January 2015) revenue guidance that was well above consensus expectations, suggesting healthy momentum for existing products and strong early interest in newer products."

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