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Why Shares of LivePerson Climbed 19.1% in February

Keith Noonan, The Motley Fool

What happened

LivePerson (NASDAQ: LPSN) stock gained 19.1% in February, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The online customer service company's shares saw positive momentum early in the month thanks to bullish trends for the broader market, and gains accelerated following its fourth-quarter earnings release and some encouraging guidance.

LPSN Chart

LPSN data by YCharts.

LivePerson published its fourth-quarter and full-year results on Feb. 21. Sales for the quarter increased 15% year over year to come in at $65.7 million, narrowly beating the average analyst estimate. Earnings per share for the period came in at $0.035, topping the average analyst target by $0.02.

A robotic hand touching a human hand through a screen.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

LivePerson has been seeing impressive demand for its automated customer service chat solutions. The company added 60 new customer contracts in the December quarter and signed 60 additional deals, and it also reached a record for average revenue per user. There's a lot to like about that kind of trajectory, and the company looks to have an expanding customer base to power its growth engine. Shares are up more than 80% over the last year. 


Now what

Even more encouraging than the company's fourth-quarter sales growth was guidance indicating sales growth will accelerate in 2019 and go on to reach at least 20% annual growth in 2020.

LivePerson is valued at roughly 6.3 times this year's expected sales, and it has yet to post substantial profits. That's not yet greatly concerning because the company is focused on expanding its customer base, but it means that investors should approach the stock knowing that it has the potential to be volatile if the business's growth trajectory is rattled. 

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Keith Noonan has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends LivePerson. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.