The stock market was rebounding nicely on Tuesday following a multiday slump, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, and Nasdaq all up as of 10:25 a.m. ET. However, low-code app development-company Appian (APPN -2.82%) was a big outperformer -- shares were up by more than 33% for the day in rather volatile trading.
Although we're in the busiest time of earnings season, Appian isn't moving today for that reason.
Appian's jump can be attributed to a favorable court ruling -- and it was a big one. For background, Appian sued rival Pegasystems (PEGA -1.59%) for trade-secret misappropriation. To make a long story short, Appian showed that Pegasystems hired "spies" to observe, record, and access Appian's development environment for the purpose of stealing trade secrets.
A jury sided with Appian and awarded the company more than $2 billion in damages. (For context, Appian's entire market cap as of yesterday's close was about $3 billion.)
It shouldn't be difficult to understand why this could be such a game-changing windfall for Appian. It not only would bolster the balance sheet, but also would allow the company to invest heavily in its own growth and product development, buy back shares, or do whatever else it felt would drive shareholder value.
The check isn't in the mail just yet. Pegasystems can appeal and isn't required to actually pay the judgement until all appeals are exhausted and the ruling is final. But this is certainly welcome news to Appian and its investors.