Workday Upside Potential Slows Post-Earnings

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Cloud-based human-resources software company Workday reported beats on both second-quarter bottom line and top line estimates as results were published Tuesday following the market close. However, investors seemed unimpressed, with the stock remaining flat Wednesday, trading at $75.98, despite the initial spike in extended hours trading last night.

For the second-quarter, Workday reported a slight beat in revenue, while its losses widened, but still beat estimates on an adjusted basis. Total revenues for the second-quarter increased 72% to $107.6 million from a year ago versus the average Wall Street estimate of $100.5 million, according to a poll of analysts by Thomson Reuters. Subscription revenues for cloud applications expanded rapidly and almost doubled to $81.1 million, up 92% from last year.

Adjusted operating loss for the second quarter was $21.7 million or 13 cents a share compared with a non-GAAP operating loss of $24.1 million or 71 cents a share the same time last year. A loss of 18 cents a share was expected.

The company continues to prioritize revenue growth over profitability as the results demonstrate. "Right now our focus is completely on growth," CFO Mark Peek said during the earnings call. "It's on getting net new customers, it's on market expansion and it's on continued product development." In the second quarter the company crossed the 500 customer mark.

However, despite the rapid revenue growth, there were some concerns that upgrades could be postponed and delay future demand. Aneel Bhusri, Co-CEO and Chairman, noted that the company has seen "big upgrades of legacy systems being delayed as customers evaluate the different cloud offerings."

The company raised its revenue outlook for the full year to about $436 million to $446 million from approximately $425 million to $440 million. Third-quarter total revenue are expected to be within a range of $115 million to $118 million, a growth of 58% to 62% compared with the prior year.

Workday said that on the billings front, the company expects the third quarter will be flat against second quarter and that a seasonal bump should occur in the fourth quarter. WDAY ChartWDAY data by YCharts

Based on the updated forecasts, Workday remains on a positive growth trajectory. Still, the stock has already run up significantly this year and therefore analysts are maintaining a relatively neutral recommendation on the stock. Wall Street is not expecting too much upside from here despite the company's growth potential. For instance Brent Thill, an analyst at UBS, raised his price target on Workday shares to $78 from Tuesday's closing price of $76.01, explaining that the stock's "superior growth offset by premium valuation" is keeping him at a "neutral." The stock currently trades at 26x Enterprise-Value-To-Sales for the next twelve months, the highest multiple in the software as a service group.