EarningsExa Corp. today reported fiscal Q2 revenue of $12.7 million, up 7% as reported and up 10% in constant currencies. CEO Steve Remondi said in the press release that “the return to customer spending that we started to see at the beginning of the year continued in the second quarter.”

More important as  a predictor of future revenue is the fact that project revenue was up 23% year/year, to $1.985 million — and leads the first six months of the year to a project total of $3.781 million, up 30%. Exa typically leads with project engagements to prove its technology and teach customers how to use it; once that project succeeds, the customer buys licenses. Projects now likely leads to license revenue later.

In Q2, license revenue was $10.7 million, up 5%.

Exa reported a GAAP net loss of $0.8 million for the quarter, calling this “expected” and due to “anticipated investments in long-term growth and public company costs”.

Mr. Remondi said that Exa saw “strong momentum from customers in the passenger car market, though this is being more than offset by continued delays at customers in the truck and off-highway markets who are impacted by softer macro trends”. These mixed signals lead Exa to be cautious about the rest of the year, with revenue in Q3 expected to be around $14 million (which would be up ~18% y/y) and full year 2013 revenue of around $54 million, up about 10%.

Investors are underwhelmed, and sent the share down 9% in afterhours trading. I’ll listen in on the earnings call replay and post an update if I learn anything new.