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The Altium share price is up 70% in 2019 and at an all-time high

The impressive run of the Altium Limited (ASX: ALU) share price has continued on Thursday. In afternoon trade the design software company’s shares climbed over 4% to an all-time high of $36.81.

When Altium’s shares hit that level it meant they had gained a remarkable 70% since the turn of the year.

This gain puts its up there with fellow market-beaters WiseTech Global Ltd (ASX: WTC) and Xero Limited (ASX: XRO), which have gained 79% and 52%, respectively, in 2019.

Why is the Altium share price higher today?

This latest gain appears to have been driven by comments by U.S. Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell overnight which indicated that a rate cut would be coming very soon.

These comments sent the technology-focused Nasdaq index hurtling higher, which appears to have rubbed off on the locally listed tech shares today.

This is because lower rates are generally seen as a positive for shares as it not only reduces the risk-free rate (a key component in valuations), it also tends to send money flooding into the share market as investors seek better returns than those on offer with term deposits and other interest-bearing assets.

Altium isn’t alone in pushing higher today. The S&P/ASX 200 Info Tech index is up a solid 1.3% this afternoon.

What about the rest of its gain in 2019?

In addition to this, investors have been buying its shares this year due to its impressive half year result and positive long-term outlook.

For the six months ended December 31, 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.

A key driver of this growth was increasing demand for its software across the globe, which led to a 34% increase in Altium Designer new seats and a 9% lift in the overall subscription pool to 39,179.

Pleasingly, management appears confident that this can continue. So much so, it has set itself an “aspirational” revenue target of US$500 million by 2025.

In order to achieve this, it believes it needs to lift its active subscribers to 100,000. At which point, it expects to be in a position to compel key industry stakeholders to support its agenda to transform electronic design and its realisation.

I wouldn’t bet against Altium delivering on this target.

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James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of WiseTech Global. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Altium and Xero. 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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