Evidently trade policy is a threat to the market's mood only until investors realize that the world hasn't actually ended and record earnings are strong enough to support stocks within sight of record levels. Our latest 1Q19 report proves that.
CyberArk (CYBR: $123, down 2% this week) gave us everything we wanted. Revenue of $95 million beat our $92 million target and parlayed our 28% growth expectation all the way to 32%, while unexpected efficiencies turned all of that "extra" $3 million in revenue and more into profit. We would have been happy with $0.41 per share on the bottom line. The company gave us a stunning $0.56 instead.
As a bonus, those efficiencies look likely to continue through the remainder of the year. While management's 2019 revenue outlook matches our own $217 million forecast, they think yearly earnings will come in at least a few cents per share above the $2.10 our calculations predicted. Admittedly, that's still only 4% earnings growth, but here in the extremely competitive Computer Security industry any positive movement on the bottom line at all is extraordinary as companies like CyberArk reinvest their profits into the race for market share.
With CyberArk expanding sales at a healthier than expected rate without sacrificing profit, it looks like their strategy is working. If anything, the sales team is working harder than the company can bring new customers onboard, with billings in the quarter hitting $117 million, there's now a deferred backlog of $171 million on the books waiting to be served. As far as we're concerned, that's strong visibility for the foreseeable future.
And it put a nice bit of icing on an otherwise sweet day. China suddenly dropped off Wall Street's radar yesterday and from what we saw overnight, a similar burst of relief played out across the Pacific as well. Tension eased as investors realized that the headlines were never quite so dire in the first place. That's a great trigger for relief.
Whether that relief turns into a rally remains to be seen, but we suspect BMR stocks will keep leading the way. Apple (AAPL: $189, down 4%) edged up yesterday, reflecting the better mood around China (which accounts for 16% of sales), but so did Twitter (TWTR: $37, down 4%), which doesn't even operate in that country. Either way, as the mood turns, we're happy to accept the rebound.
Of course, if trade talks get tight again, we're covered either way. Our Real Estate recommendations have held up remarkably well through this mini-correction and are collectively up a little for the week so far. Whether the bulls or the bears are in control, we're in position to keep reaping the rewards. So far, so good. And with earnings season ebbing, we'll see you soon with a few new stocks that have caught our eye.