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Automation Software Stocks Q1 Highlights: Appian (NASDAQ:APPN)


Anthony Lee /
2024/07/01 5:13 am EDT

Quarterly earnings results are a good time to check in on a company’s progress, especially compared to its peers in the same sector. Today we are looking at Appian (NASDAQ:APPN) and the best and worst performers in the automation software industry.

The whole purpose of software is to automate tasks to increase productivity. Today, innovative new software techniques, often involving AI and machine learning, are finally allowing automation that has graduated from simple one- or two-step workflows to more complex processes integral to enterprises. The result is surging demand for modern automation software.

The 5 automation software stocks we track reported a weak Q1; on average, revenues were in line with analyst consensus estimates. while next quarter's revenue guidance was 4.6% below consensus. Inflation progressed towards the Fed's 2% goal at the end of 2023, leading to strong stock market performance. The start of 2024 has been a bumpier ride, as the market switches between optimism and pessimism around rate cuts due to mixed inflation data, and automation software stocks have had a rough stretch, with share prices down 11.1% on average since the previous earnings results.

Appian (NASDAQ:APPN)

Founded by Matt Calkins and his three friends out of an apartment in Northern Virginia, Appian (NASDAQ:APPN) sells a software platform that lets its users build applications without using much code, allowing them to create new software more quickly.

Appian reported revenues of $149.8 million, up 10.8% year on year, in line with analysts' expectations. It was a weak quarter for the company, with a miss of analysts' billings estimates and a decline in its gross margin.

“Appian continues to push technological boundaries in our industry, from AI-backed services to process mining. Organizations globally are recognizing the power and simplicity of the Appian Platform,” said Matt Calkins, CEO & Founder.

Appian Total Revenue

The stock is down 16% since the results and currently trades at $30.86.

Read our full report on Appian here, it's free.

Best Q1: Jamf (NASDAQ:JAMF)

Founded in 2002 by Zach Halmstad and Chip Pearson, right around the time when Apple began to dominate the personal computing market, Jamf (NASDAQ:JAMF) provides software for companies to manage Apple devices such as Macs, iPads, and iPhones.

Jamf reported revenues of $152.1 million, up 15.1% year on year, outperforming analysts' expectations by 2%. It was a mixed quarter for the company: Jamf narrowly topped analysts' revenue expectations. On the other hand, its billings unfortunately missed analysts' expectations and its gross margin shrunk.

Jamf Total Revenue

Jamf achieved the biggest analyst estimates beat and highest full-year guidance raise among its peers. The stock is down 15.8% since the results and currently trades at $16.61.

Is now the time to buy Jamf? Access our full analysis of the earnings results here, it's free.

Weakest Q1: Pegasystems (NASDAQ:PEGA)

Founded by Alan Trefler in 1983, Pegasystems (NASDAQ:PEGA) offers a software-as-a-service platform to automate and optimize workflows in customer service and engagement.

Pegasystems reported revenues of $330.1 million, up 1.4% year on year, falling short of analysts' expectations by 2.1%. It was a weak quarter for the company, with a decline in its gross margin and a miss of analysts' billings estimates.

Pegasystems had the weakest performance against analyst estimates and slowest revenue growth in the group. The stock is up 1.3% since the results and currently trades at $59.66.

Read our full analysis of Pegasystems's results here.

ServiceNow (NYSE:NOW)

Founded by Fred Luddy, who wrote the code for the company's initial prototype on a flight from San Francisco to London, ServiceNow (NYSE:NOW) offers a software-as-a-service platform that helps companies become more efficient by allowing them to automate workflows across IT, HR, and customer service.

ServiceNow reported revenues of $2.60 billion, up 24.2% year on year, in line with analysts' expectations. It was a weak quarter for the company, with decelerating growth in large customers and a miss of analysts' ARR (annual recurring revenue) estimates.

ServiceNow achieved the fastest revenue growth among its peers. The company added 36 enterprise customers paying more than $1m annually to reach a total of 1,933. The stock is up 5.3% since the results and currently trades at $786.39.

Read our full, actionable report on ServiceNow here, it's free.

UiPath (NYSE:PATH)

Started in 2005 in Romania as a tech outsourcing company, UiPath (NYSE:PATH) makes software that helps companies automate repetitive computer tasks.

UiPath reported revenues of $335.1 million, up 15.7% year on year, in line with analysts' expectations. It was a weak quarter for the company, with underwhelming revenue guidance for the next quarter and a decline in its gross margin.

UiPath had the weakest full-year guidance update among its peers. The stock is down 30.3% since the results and currently trades at $12.74.

Read our full, actionable report on UiPath here, it's free.

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