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Five9's Fourth-Quarter Earnings Crush Estimates

By Daniel Sparks – Updated Feb 20, 2020 at 8:15AM

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Revenue was more than $5 million higher than analysts were expecting.

Expectations were high going into Five9's (FIVN 2.16%) 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."

Daniel Sparks has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Five9. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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