Expectations were high going into Five9's (FIVN 0.97%) fourth-quarter update, but the cloud-based contact center specialist still delivered. The company's revenue and adjusted earnings per share both crushed analyst estimates, as strong growth was once again fueled by large enterprise customers.

Here's a look at the quarter's results.

A diagram showing three laptops connected to a cloud

Image source: Getty Images.

Q4 earnings by the numbers


Q4 2019

Q4 2018



$92.3 million

$72.3 million






Data source: Five9 fourth-quarter earnings release. GAAP = generally accepted accounting principles. EPS = earnings per share.

Five9's fourth-quarter revenue came in at $92.3 million, up 28% year over year. This handily surpassed both management's guidance for the period and analysts' consensus forecast. Going into the quarter, management said it expected revenue to be between $86 million and $87 million. Meanwhile, analysts were expecting revenue of $86.7 million.

Five9 had strong third-quarter revenue growth of 28%, a slight acceleration from 27% growth in Q2.

The tech company's non-GAAP (adjusted) earnings per share in Q4 were $0.27 -- up from $0.23 in the year-ago period, and ahead of analysts' average forecast for $0.22.

Also worth highlighting: Five9's adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization increased from $16.4 million in the year-ago period to $19.6 million, or 21.2% of revenue.

Five9's CEO Rowan Trollope is pleased with its financial progress, noting in the fourth-quarter earnings release that in 2019 the company "made strides in further improving our bottom line and operating cash flow despite increased investments in [research and development] and go-to-market."

Enterprise strength

Trollope said the company expanded its product offerings in 2019 in order "to deliver the best-of-breed experiences for large enterprises" -- and apparently that's paying off. As has been the case in prior quarters, enterprise revenue (revenue from large companies) continued to be a key driver for Five9. Enterprise revenue for full-year 2019 was up 34% year over year.

Looking ahead

Five9 management provided an optimistic outlook for both the first quarter and the full year of 2020.

For Q1, management guided for revenue between $89 million and $90 million -- well ahead of analysts' average forecast for $86.7 million. The company said it expects adjusted earnings per share during the period to be between $0.15 and $0.16, with the midpoint of this range beating a consensus forecast for $0.15.

For the full year of 2020, Five9 expects revenue between $380.5 million and $383.5 million, and non-GAAP earnings per share between $0.83 and $0.87. Analysts expected revenue of $372.5 million and non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.86.

Trollope said he believes the company is positioned well to capitalize on "the migration of [on-]premise [equipment] to the cloud and the increasing focus on improving customer experience as part of overall digital transformation."