EPAM Systems (NYSE:EPAM) has seen the huge potential that rising demand for IT services presents the company, and it has worked hard to provide clients with the transformative tech solutions they need in order to keep up with their peers. That has helped EPAM succeed, and investors in the IT specialist have wanted to see EPAM come up with even more ways to capitalize on this unique opportunity.
Coming into Thursday's third-quarter financial report, EPAM investors believed that the company had plenty of room left for further growth, and the results that EPAM announced were largely consistent with those beliefs. Let's take a closer look at how EPAM Systems did and what's ahead for the tech specialist.
EPAM keeps growing
EPAM Systems' third-quarter results were solid. Sales jumped 27% to $377.5 million, which was faster than the 23% growth rate that most of those following the stock had expected to see. Adjusted net income climbed by more than a quarter to $62.6 million, and that produced adjusted earnings of $0.92 per share. That figure was well ahead of the $0.85 per share consensus forecast among shareholders.
EPAM has finally gotten to a point at which it's benefiting from movements in foreign currencies. The company said that currency-neutral growth would have been about two percentage points slower without the impact of the weaker dollar against the currencies in the countries that EPAM serves.
Fundamentally, EPAM's business looked healthier. Gross margin improved by more than half a percentage point to 36.6%, and operating income soared by more than 45% thanks to tight controls on increases in overhead expenses. The size of EPAM's workforce also continued to rise, with numbers just shy of 24,550 climbing by more than 2,800 in just the past 12 months. Delivery professionals in particular saw an even larger jump in percentage terms, numbering more than 21,600.
CEO Arkadiy Dobkin explained why EPAM's results have been so strong. "Our third-quarter results were driven by strong demand from our clients, fueled by their need to stay competitive under constant disruption," Dobkin said. The CEO also pointed to the company's ability to hire top talent and consistently improve the service it provides in helping to keep ahead of its competitors in the IT services field.
Can EPAM climb even higher?
There's no doubt that EPAM wants to stay on the cutting edge of the IT world in order to keep a competitive advantage over its peers. In Dobkin's words, EPAM's mission involves a wish to "keep pace with the next wave of emerging technologies and offer our clients the most valuable business solutions."
As we've seen in past quarters, EPAM took strong results and forecast a stronger future in light of its past performance. The IT company said sales growth will now be at least 24% this year, up 1 percentage point from its previous guidance three months ago. EPAM also gave its earnings guidance a $0.12 per share boost, and it now expects to post adjusted net income of at least $3.41 per share. For the fourth quarter, revenue should come in at least $395 million, up 26% from year-ago levels, and adjusted earnings of $0.96 per share would be higher than investors were expecting to see from the tech company.
EPAM Systems shareholders were happy with the good news, and the stock climbed 9% on Thursday following the morning report. Improving technological capabilities remains a key goal for companies across the business spectrum, and as long as that demand persists, EPAM will have the opportunity to capture plenty of new clients seeking to become part of the digital revolution.