Good earnings news continues to roll out in the world of engineering software. Yesterday, Aspen Technology announced fiscal third quarter results that show continued acceptance of the new license model for its aspenONE product suite even as the global economic recovery shifted buying patterns to smaller deals.
AspenTech reports that it closed 16 bookings of over $1 million during the quarter, down from 21 a year ago, but 47 bookings between $250,000 and $1 million, up from 39 a year ago. The company reports that it has booked a total of $240 million so far in fiscal 2011, $79 million of that in FQ3. The average deal size for bookings over $100,000 was approximately $609,000 in the quarter, down from about $807,000 in the third quarter of fiscal 2010 due to a “lack of mega deals in the quarter”.
Adding it all up, the company reported total revenue of $53 million, up 15% from a year ago. Subscription revenue was $17 million up 425% (yes, 425%) from $4 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2010. The company reported subscription revenue of $10 million in Q1, $12 million in Q2 and now $17 million, showing how the licensing change affects revenue recognition. Subscriptions are recognized ratably over the duration of the multi-year agreement; this line on the income statement will continue to go up as new customers sign on — exactly the point of the difficult transition AspenTech is undertaking.
Software revenue, which includes perpetual and term license revenue, declined 12% to $13 million as customers shift to the new model, and services and other revenue (which includes maintenance revenue for perpetual contracts) declined 19% to $22 million.
As a result of the business model transition, AspenTech reported a loss from operations of $7 million — a significant improvement over the loss from operations of nearly $20 million reported a year ago. The net loss for the quarter just ended was $6 million.
CEO Mark Fusco said that the company is “right on track, where we expected to be” in FQ3. Energy, engineering and construction, and chemicals continue to represent over 90% of the company’s bookings, and sales were “balanced” across the major geographic regions. He said that the company had already hit its 2011 targets on a number of financial metrics and reaffirmed the company’s revenue guidance of $185 million to $190 million for fiscal 2011.
In all, investors seem pleased with the news of the growth in bookings and subscription revenue. The share price is up close to 6% at about 10AM ET today. CFO Mark Sullivan said that the company is in year two of a five to six year transition — and investors seem willing to give the company that time.