Aspen Technology (AZPN) - Get Report shares soared Thursday after KeyBanc analyst Jason Celino raised his share-price target on the asset optimization software company after it posted stronger-than expected earnings.
He lifted the target to $137 from $120 and maintained his overweight rating.
Aspen Technology shares recently traded at $127.76, up a whopping 30.75%. The stock has now climbed 6% so far this year.
Aspen Technology showed best-in-class performance for the fiscal 2020 fourth quarter ended June 30, Celino said.
Celino was particularly struck by the 6% to 9% annual spending growth guidance for fiscal 2021, which greatly exceeded his forecast of 3% to 5%.
He said Aspen Technology's strong performance in a difficult environment solidifies his view that Aspen represents a core stock to own.
The company’s revenue gained 1.82% in the latest quarter to $199.3 million from $195.8 million a year ago. The latest figure topped analysts’ prediction of $176.6 million, according to Benzinga.
Net income totaled $97.6 million, or $1.44 a share, in the latest quarter, down from $103.9 million, for $1.51 last year. The latest EPS figure bested analysts’ forecast of $1.17.
“Customers in our core markets continued to make significant investments in Aspen Tech products despite the challenges facing their own businesses,” Aspen Technology CEO Antonio Pietri said in a statement.
“Companies in the process and other capital intensive industries increasingly recognize that investing in digitalization initiatives is essential to long-term financial and operational success and we believe we are well-positioned to benefit from this trend,” the CEO added.