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Workday Revenue Jumps on Robust Demand for Cloud Applications

Nico Grant

(Bloomberg) -- Workday Inc. reported quarterly revenue that topped $1 billion for the first time, beating analyst estimates and continuing growth for the maker of human resources software despite the economic challenges of the pandemic. Shares rose more than 7% in extended trading.

Revenue increased 23% to $1.02 billion in the fiscal first quarter, the Pleasanton, California-based company said Wednesday in a statement. On average, analysts expected $994 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. After some expenses, profit was 44 cents a share, compared with analyst projections of 47 cents.

Workday expects subscription revenue for the fiscal year of $3.67 billion to $3.69 billion, down from as much as $3.77 billion. In the second quarter, subscription revenue will be as much as $915 million, the company said.

Chief Executive Officer Aneel Bhusri has targeted a goal of $10 billion in annual revenue, from $3.6 billion the past fiscal year. The company continues to expand its human resources, accounting and planning software to offer the capabilities of established rivals Oracle Corp. and SAP SE, but delivered through the cloud. Before Workday reported results, some analysts were concerned that corporate customers aren’t interested in pursuing large software deals and complicated implementations during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The cloud is playing a critical role in today’s climate, with organizations leaning on Workday to pivot -- whether it’s helping employees learn virtually, closing books remotely, or scenario planning to determine what path to take,” Bhusri said in the statement.

Workday also announced two partnerships Wednesday. One, with Microsoft Corp., will run Workday’s Adaptive Planning on the Azure cloud. Microsoft’s finance team will start using the product for its internal needs and both companies will collaborate on integrating their software products for mutual customers. The second partnership, with Salesforce.com Inc., aims to help organizations safely return to their offices in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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