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Why Appian Stock Is Down 15% in the First Half of 2021

By Chris Neiger - Jul 19, 2021 at 9:34AM

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Investors reacted negatively to the company's quarterly results.

What happened

Shares of Appian (APPN 1.73%) tumbled 15% in the first six months of this year, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, after the company failed to impress investors with its fourth-quarter 2020 and first-quarter 2021 results. 

Many Appian investors have continued to sell shares of the tech stock in the beginning of the second half of 2021 as well, with the company's stock plummeting 18% over the past two weeks.  

So what 

The first notable drop in Appian's share price came back in February when the company reported its fourth-quarter 2020 results. Appian had an adjusted loss per share of $0.03 and revenue of $81.6 million.  

A candlestick graph on a blue background.

Image source: Getty Images.

Surprisingly, Appian beat analysts' consensus earnings and revenue estimates for the quarter, but investors pushed the company's share price down 21% in February nonetheless. 

Then, in March, Appian's stock continued its free fall as investors pivoted away from tech stocks and started piling into other sectors they thought would benefit from a reopening U.S. economy. 

Generally speaking, tech stocks were big winners in 2020 as investors looked for companies that could thrive during the pandemic. But when the economy began opening back up some investors ditched tech stocks and the result was Appian's share price dropping 23% in March. 

And finally, in May the company reported its first-quarter 2021 results, which disappointed investors once again. The company reported total revenue of $88.9 million in the quarter, an increase of just 13% from the year-ago quarter.  

That growth felt slow for many investors, especially since revenue growth was 31% in the prior-year quarter, and Appian's stock fell 25% in May as a result.

Now what 

While investors have been on a wild ride with Appian's share price lately, the company's stock has still gained 139% over the past 12 months.  

And with Appian's management expecting the company's cloud subscription sales to grow by 39% to 40% in the second quarter, it's clear that Appian's growth story likely isn't over just yet.

Chris Neiger has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Appian. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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