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Why Appian Stock Gained 13% in February

By Demitri Kalogeropoulos – Updated Apr 11, 2019 at 2:51PM

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Investors liked what they saw in the company's fourth-quarter earnings report.

What happened

Software specialist Appian (APPN 0.74%) outpaced the market last month by gaining 13% compared to a 3% spike in the S&P 500, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

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.

A customer service representative speaking to someone via a headset.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

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.

Check out the latest earnings call transcript for Appian.

Now what

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.

Demitrios Kalogeropoulos has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Appian. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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