Workday Shares Rise as Earnings Crush Estimates

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Updated Aug. 26, 2021 5:23 pm ET / Original Aug. 26, 2021 4:58 pm ET

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*** ONE-TIME USE *** An employee works at the Workday Inc. office in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019.

Michael Short/Bloomberg

Workday shares are trading higher late Thursday after the cloud-based provider of enterprise HR and financial software posted better-than-expected results for its fiscal second quarter ended July 31. 

For the quarter, Workday (ticker: WDAY) reported revenue of $1.26 billion, up 19% from a year ago, and slightly ahead of the Street consensus estimate of $1.24 billion. Subscription revenue was $1.11 billion, up 20%, and ahead of the company’s guidance range of $1.095 billion to $1.097 billion. Non-GAAP profits were $1.23 a share, well ahead of consensus at 78 cents. Under generally accepted accounting principles, the company earned 41 cents a share.

Workday says its backlog now stands at $10.5 billion, up 23% from a year ago. Operating cash flow in the quarter jumped to $198.5 million, from $157.2 million in the comparable year-earlier quarter.

“This quarter was one of our strongest in company history,” Workday CEO Aneel Bhusri said in a statement. “Our customer community has grown to more than 55 million users and more than half of the Fortune 500 have selected Workday.”

Workday in late trading has rallied 3.4%, to $255.25. In the regular session, the stock was up 0.3% to $246.76.

For the October quarter, Workday sees subscription revenue ranging from $1.156 to $1.158 billion, ahead of the Street consensus at $1.113 billion. Workday sees full-year subscription revenue of between $4.5 billion and $4.51 billion, ahead of the Street consensus forecast of $4.44 billion. The company also said it now sees a full year non-GAAP operating margin of 21%, up from a previous forecast of 18% to 19%.

Write to Eric J. Savitz at

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