Aspen Technology (AZPN) Downgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Aspen Technology (NASDAQ:AZPN) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Monday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Aspen Technology delivered stellar third-quarter results. Robust adoption of its Asset Performance Management and Aspen Mtell suite, and advancement in bookings drove top line growth. Anticipating momentum in bookings to continue, the company raised fiscal 2019 revenues guidance. Moreover, Aspen is also witnessing increased demand from global economy industries (GEIs) and E&C customers. Furthermore, the company’s subscription based business model is strengthened by long-term contracts with high-end customers. Additionally, the company’s diversified product portfolio and a sticky customer base impose significant barriers to entry which is a positive. Shares have outperformed the industry on a year to date basis. However, stiff competition in the asset management market is a major headwind. Integration risks and continuing investments to stay afloat remains a concern.”

Other analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. Wedbush raised shares of Aspen Technology from a neutral rating to an outperform rating and lifted their price objective for the stock from $104.00 to $131.00 in a report on Thursday, April 25th. Canaccord Genuity lifted their price objective on shares of Aspen Technology from $110.00 to $126.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Thursday, April 25th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Aspen Technology from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Monday, February 4th. KeyCorp began coverage on shares of Aspen Technology in a report on Wednesday, April 10th. They set an overweight rating and a $120.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Benchmark reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $110.00 price objective on shares of Aspen Technology in a report on Thursday, March 14th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seven have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $117.25.

NASDAQ AZPN opened at $116.37 on Monday. Aspen Technology has a 52-week low of $74.84 and a 52-week high of $124.96. The firm has a market cap of $8.03 billion, a PE ratio of 56.49 and a beta of 1.61.

Aspen Technology (NASDAQ:AZPN) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, April 24th. The technology company reported $0.89 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.79 by $0.10. Aspen Technology had a net margin of 37.25% and a return on equity of 76.36%. The company had revenue of $148.00 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $136.38 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.52 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 15.8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, research analysts predict that Aspen Technology will post 3.26 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, insider Karl E. Johnsen sold 3,037 shares of Aspen Technology stock in a transaction on Monday, April 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $121.38, for a total value of $368,631.06. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 26,453 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,210,865.14. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO Antonio J. Pietri sold 7,095 shares of Aspen Technology stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $99.49, for a total transaction of $705,881.55. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 237,920 shares in the company, valued at approximately $23,670,660.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 78,692 shares of company stock worth $9,286,123. 0.90% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Advisor Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Aspen Technology by 43.4% in the first quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 8,277 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $863,000 after acquiring an additional 2,505 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in shares of Aspen Technology by 0.4% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,735,616 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $389,475,000 after acquiring an additional 16,722 shares during the period. Synovus Financial Corp increased its position in shares of Aspen Technology by 35.7% in the first quarter. Synovus Financial Corp now owns 13,569 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $1,417,000 after acquiring an additional 3,569 shares during the period. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC increased its position in shares of Aspen Technology by 9.7% in the first quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 131,580 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $13,719,000 after acquiring an additional 11,604 shares during the period. Finally, Rothschild & Co. Asset Management US Inc. increased its position in shares of Aspen Technology by 1.7% in the first quarter. Rothschild & Co. Asset Management US Inc. now owns 111,688 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $11,645,000 after acquiring an additional 1,875 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 98.66% of the company’s stock.

About Aspen Technology

Aspen Technology, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an asset optimization software company in the United States, Europe, and internationally. The company operates through two segments, Subscription and Software, and Services. It supplies asset optimization solutions that optimize asset design, operations, and maintenance lifecycle in various industrial environments.

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