As it continues steady expansion of its business, SciQuest is slowly adding more staff.
The Cary company is hiring in the Triangle and in Houston, the base for a company it bought in December. It now employs about 240 people and expects to hire more in coming months.
"That means we're seeing more business to support our need for additional people," said CEO Stephen Wiehe.
While it's taking a bit longer to find "great talent" than it did during the economic downturn in 2009 and 2010, the fledgling recovery isn't forcing employers to pay more for top recruits yet, Wiehe said.
Late Thursday, the company reported that first-quarter revenue rose to $12.5 million, up 24 percent from a year earlier. Its profit of 6 cents per share exceeded analysts' expectations.
SciQuest sells e-procurement technology that allows drug makers, universities, government agencies and others to buy products and services more cheaply online. During the quarter, SciQuest added 10 new customers, including the University of California at San Francisco, and the University of Bath in England.
It now has more than 300 customers, including 100 it added with its acquisition of AECsoft of Texas.
"The quarter, while it wasn't huge news, fits with our plans and expectations of consistent growth," Wiehe said. "We're seeing increasing interest from existing customers and new ones."
That includes more inquiries from state and local governments, which has the potential to become a large market for SciQuest. The state of Georgia, for example, uses SciQuest systems to buy a wide range of products.
"When we did our IPO and our secondary stock sale, we told investors who bought our stock that our business is very predictable and it won't have huge surprises in terms of financials or growth," Wiehe said.
The company made its Wall Street debut in September, raising about $50 million in a rare IPO for a Triangle tech company. Last month, it raised another $15 million by selling more shares.
Wall Street tends to favor predictability. The stock should keep rising as SciQuest gains more customers, JMP Securities analyst Patrick Walravens wrote in a report. Walravens has a "market outperform" rating on the stock and a $16 price target.
SciQuest shares, which began trading at $9.50 in the IPO last fall, rose 48 cents this morning to $14.45.