By Noel Randewich
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Shares of cloud software sellers surged on Wednesday following quarterly reports and forecasts from Tableau Software, New Relic, Twilio and Rapid7 that added to Wall Street's high expectations for the fast-expanding sector.
Tableau Software jumped 18 percent and Twilio surged 35 percent after both enterprise software sellers posted strong quarterly results late on Tuesday.
New Relic rallied 13 percent and Rapid7, which sells data analytics for cyber security, jumped 11 percent after they also posted upbeat reports late on Tuesday.
Salesforce.com and Workday, widely viewed as the leaders among cloud software sellers, jumped 6 percent and 7 percent, respectively.
After cloud computing stocks slumped in October's broad market sell-off, the latest batch of quarterly reports showing strong growth has renewed investors' focus on the sector, said Joel Kulina, senior vice president of Institutional Cash Equities at Wedbush.
"The cloud SaaS names remain at the forefront. Their growth numbers are staggering, and we are still in early innings in the enterprise shift to the cloud," Kulina said, referring to software as a service, a type of cloud software product.
The ISE Cloud Computing index climbed 2.7 percent. In October, the index slumped more than 10 percent as investors shed high-growth and high-valuation shares due to fears that a decade-old stock rally was coming to an end.
Symantec rose 0.8 percent after Reuters reported that buyout firm Thoma Bravo LLC approached the antivirus software maker.
FireEye, another cyber security firm, jumped 6.2 percent.
At least 13 analysts raised their price targets for Tableau Software after the data analytics company gave solid guidance for the fourth quarter. The median price target for Tableau has increased to $125 from $120 a month ago, according to Refinitiv data. The stock was last at $123.
Twilio on Wednesday traded at over 11 times expected revenue for 2019, expensive even by the standards of other cloud companies, like Salesforce, trading at 6.4 times expected revenue.
Tableau Software was at 8.1 times revenue, while New Republic reached 9.1 times revenue.
Twilio, which sells communications technology to customers that include Airbnb and Uber, forecast revenue for the fourth quarter between $183 million and $185 million, far higher than the average analyst estimate of $150 million, according to Refinitiv.
"We believe investors still underestimate Twilio's long-term top-line growth potential, best highlighted by its accelerating net dollar expansion rate," Oppenheimer analyst Ittai Kidron wrote in a note to clients after the quarterly report.
(Reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by Dan Grebler)