What happened

Shares of Cerence (NASDAQ:CRNC) are soaring today, up by 10% as of 12:25 p.m. EST, after the company reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings. The results easily topped expectations and Cerence also issued strong guidance for next quarter.

So what

Revenue in the fiscal fourth quarter came in at $90.9 million, ahead of the $79.6 million in sales that Wall Street was looking for. That translated into adjusted net income of $25.7 million, or $0.61 per share, while analysts were modeling for just $0.35 per share in adjusted profits. The automotive technology company said its backlog had increased to over $1.8 billion thanks to record bookings in the fiscal year. Adjusted EBITDA was $40.3 million.

Driver's hand poised above touch screen in car's dashboard with various icons hovering around it

Image source: Getty Images.

"Our Q4 financial performance exceeded our expectations for every metric and delivered record revenue, record gross margin and record EBITDA," CEO Sanjay Dhawan said in a statement. "Cerence's first year as a stand-alone business established the company as a major player in conversational AI for the car."

Now what

Cerence estimates that 53% of global auto production now incorporates the company's technology. Guidance for the fiscal first quarter calls for revenue in the range of $85 million to $90 million, compared to the consensus estimate of $82.1 million. Adjusted EBITDA next quarter is forecast to be in the range of $31 million to $35 million. Fiscal 2021 revenue is expected to be $360 million to $380 million, which is also above the $356.6 million that analysts are modeling for next fiscal year.

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