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Were these the best results during earnings season?

A busy month of results releases came to a close on Thursday.

On the whole, I felt this earnings season was a positive one with more results in line or beating expectations than falling short of them.

Three results which I think were arguably the best of the season are summarised below:

Altium Limited (ASX: ALU)

This electronic design software company’s half year result was the best one I saw during earnings season. Thanks to increasing demand for its software driven by the Internet of Things boom, Altium posted half year revenue of US$78 million and profit after tax of $23.4 million. This represented revenue growth of 26% and net profit after tax growth of 58% on the prior corresponding period. This puts Altium on course to achieve its US$200 million revenue target by the end of FY 2020. Looking further out, management announced an aspirational revenue target of US$500 million by 2025. While this is certainly a bold target, I think the quality of its products and the massive market opportunity means it has a strong chance of achieving it.

Appen Ltd (ASX: APX)

Another very impressive result during earnings season was the full year result of this global leader in the development of high-quality, human annotated datasets for machine learning and artificial intelligence. Thanks to the accelerating AI market and the high and growing demand for quality training data, Appen delivered underlying EBITDA of $71.3 million. This was an increase of 153% on FY 2017’s result and 9.7% higher than the top end of its upgraded guidance given in November. In FY 2019 management expects the fast-growing AI market to fuel increasing demand for its services and has provided underlying EBITDA guidance in the range of $85 million to $90 million. This guidance implies year on year growth of 19% to 26%.

Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB)

I thought that this online travel agent’s half year results were very strong. For the six months ended December 31, Webjet delivered a 29% increase in total transaction value to $1.9 billion, a 33% lift in revenue to $175.3 million, and a 42% jump in EBITDA to $58 million. The key driver of the company’s strong result was its WebBeds segment. From continuing operations, the segment’s booking growth increased 50%, TTV rose 65%, and EBITDA stormed 136% higher to $30.1 million. The good news is that management believes “there are considerable global growth opportunities for WebBeds, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.”

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Altium and Appen Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Webjet Ltd. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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