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60% Off the Highs, Is Appian Worth a Look?

By Matthew Frankel, CFP® and Jason Hall – Updated Jun 24, 2021 at 8:46AM

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This tech stock was one of the best performers of 2021, but has come falling back to earth.

Appian (APPN 3.00%) was one of the best-performing tech stocks to start the year, gaining as much as 80% in January. However, it has since fallen by more than 60% from its highs, and in this Fool Live video clip, recorded on May 14, contributor Jason Hall tells us why Appian is still one of his favorite companies.

Jason Hall: Appian ticker APPN is the first one. The first thing about this company, the stock anyway, is it's certainly the one that has taken the biggest pounding. It's down more than 60% from its all-time high recently. I'll go ahead and say that might play a role in where I rank it, on this when we get into the rankings but here's a short version for Appian. Every company needs to utilize technology and software. In many cases, companies just don't have the resources to do it. A lot of times, these things need to be customized for specific uses. You can't just buy something off the shelf. So Appian fits in, has a software-as-a-service platform for software and app development. Low code is a term that you'll hear because it's a lot of simple apps, that thing but it also offers something I really like about the business a lot, some tools for process automation. It's a really exciting place for the business to continue to grow. Customers are flocking there over the past few years, it's increased its customer base by about 72% or 73%. It's a sticky business, too. Its revenue retention rate is approaching 120%. Maybe it's not as high as it has been in the past but the short version is that means it's growing its customer base and its customers tend to spend more money over time, has deep insider ownership. Matt Calkins is the co-founder and CEO. He owns about 40% of the company. Other executives own another five percent or so of the company. There's a lot of deep inside ownership, a lot of alignment and skin in the game but it's also a big bet on Calkins. He not only has 40% of the common shares, but because of different share rights, it's one of these dual class share companies. He controls 77% of the voting shares. Essentially it's the de facto controller of the business, it's also a big bet, the management continuing to pull the levers right.

Jason Hall owns shares of Appian. Matthew Frankel, CFP owns shares of Appian and has the following options: short May 2021 $330 calls on Appian. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Appian. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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