The rally added to market-thumping gains for investors in the volatile stock, which is up 20% over the past year but had been up by 40% -- and down by 20% -- at various times during that period.
Investors bid shares up on the expectation that the company would deliver solid fourth-quarter results. Appian didn't disappoint, as a 44% spike in subscription revenue helped it produce 19% higher sales in the period. Revenue for the full 2018 year improved 28%, which CEO Matt Calkins said was a testament to the company's leadership position in the low-code industry.
Calkins and his team issued a mixed forecast that calls for sales to grow by between 14% and 16% to mark a slowdown from the prior year. Subscription services gains should decelerate markedly, down to about 29% from 40%. Yet, by keeping shares higher, investors seem to be signaling that they believe the company has a good chance of outperforming that target, just as it did in the fiscal year that just closed.