Shares of Aspen Technology (AZPN) soared on Thursday after the asset optimization software provider reported its fiscal fourth-quarter results. Aspen beat analyst expectations across the board, and it issued solid guidance for fiscal 2021. The stock was up about 29.5% at 11:30 a.m. EDT today.
Aspen reported fourth-quarter revenue of $199.3 million, up 1.8% year over year and about $24 million higher than the average analyst estimate. License revenue was down slightly to $147.2 million, while maintenance revenue jumped 15.7% to $45.7 million. Annual spend, defined as the annualized value of all term license and maintenance contracts, totaled $593 million at the end of the quarter, up 9.6% since last year.
"Customers in our core markets continued to make significant investments in AspenTech products despite the challenges facing their own businesses," said CEO Antonio Pietri.
Earnings per share came in at $1.43, down from $1.49 in the prior-year period but $0.41 higher than analysts were expecting. The company generated $99.5 million of free cash flow in the quarter.
For fiscal 2021, Aspen expects annual spend to grow by 6% to 9%. Total revenue is expected between $704 million and $754 million, and EPS is expected between $4.29 and $4.83.
Shares of Aspen Technology have taken a beating this year, but Thursday's gain was enough to push the stock into the green. Aspen stock is now up just over 4% since the start of the year.