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Why Appian Stock Plummeted 21% in February

By Chris Neiger - Mar 1, 2021 at 4:34PM

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Investors overlooked an earnings and revenue beat and focused on full-year guidance.

What happened

Shares of Appian (APPN 6.98%) fell by 21.3% last month, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence, after the company reported its fourth-quarter results.

So what 

Appian reported earnings on Feb. 18 and both the company's top and bottom lines beat analysts' consensus estimates. The company's adjusted loss per share of $0.03 easily beat Wall Street's expectation of a loss of $0.17 per share. And Appian's revenue of $81.6 million outpaced the Street's consensus estimate of $79.8 million.

A red and blue line graph on a dark background.

Image source: Getty Images.

The company's management pointed out a few highlights from the quarter, including its cloud subscription revenue spiking 40% to $36.9 million and total subscription sales increasing 33% from the year-ago quarter. Additionally, Appian CEO Matt Calkins said in a press release the company exceeded its full-year guidance.

But despite the earnings and revenue beats -- and impressive cloud sales growth throughout the year -- some investors weren't happy that Appian's management issued bottom-line guidance that was below analysts' consensus estimate. 

The company said that its full-year 2021 loss per share would be between $0.64 and $0.60, which is a bigger loss than the $0.43 that Wall Street was expecting for 2021.

Now what 

Despite Appian's share price drop in February, the tech stock is still up 323% over the past 12 months. Additionally, the company's stock has already earned back some of its losses from last month and is up 10.6% since the end of February.

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