DocuSign stock is off about 7% this year.

Courtesy DocuSign

DocuSign shares were trading higher late Thursday after the e-signature company posted better-than-expected results for its fiscal first quarter.

For the quarter ended April 30, DocuSign (ticker: DOCU) reported revenue of $469.1 million, up 58% from the year-ago quarter, accelerating slightly from 57% growth in the January quarter. The company handily beat both its own guidance range of $432 million to $436 million and the Street consensus at $437.8 million.

The company had a non-GAAP profit in the quarter of 44 cents a share, topping the Street consensus forecast of 28 cents. Under generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, the company lost 4 cents a share.

DocuSign noted that subscription revenue was $451.9 millon, up 61%, while billings were $527.4 million, up 54%. Non-GAAP gross margin was 81%, up from 79% a year ago.

“We’ve increasingly become the way people agree in this emerging anywhere economy—and that’s not only helping organizations continue operations during the pandemic, but helping them realize new and more efficient ways of doing business in the future,” CEO Dan Springer said. 

For the fiscal second quarter, the company sees revenue ranging from $479 million to $485 million, ahead of the Street consensus at $473.7 million.

DocuSign increased its revenue guidance for the January 2021 fiscal year to between $2.027 billion and $2.039 billion, from a previous range of $1.963 billion to $1.973 billion. Street consensus had been $1.98 billion.

In an interview with Barron’s, Springer said that the company saw higher-than- expected consumption of the service by customers in the quarter. Springer said customers were both expanding their use of e-signatures for existing use cases—- and adding new ones.

Springer said the company’s growth rate has accelerated during the pandemic. He noted that the July quarter guidance represents 41% growth, a level he said he would never have expected as recently as a year ago. Investors have tended to treat DocuSign as a work-from-home play, and it certainly has benefitted from the shutdown of many offices. But he finds it highly unlikely that customers will want to revert to the way they handled business processes before the pandemic.

Springer said he is a big fan of both Zoom Video (ZM) and its founder Eric Yuan, but thinks it would be a mistake to think their businesses will proceed along the same path as the pandemic wanes. “If you ask me about my usage of Zoom a year from now, I’ll still be using it – but will I use it to talk to my CFO or COO next year when they are down the hall? The answer is hell no,” he says. “But people are not going to go back to paper-based processes with little yellow stickies.”

In late trading, DocuSign stock was up 5.8% to $205.99. For the year, the stock is off about 7%.

Write to Eric J. Savitz at eric.savitz@barrons.com

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