TRMB, AZPN report results; Bentley doesn’t

Nov 3, 2015 | Hot Topics

I’m at Bentley Systems’ Year in Infrastructure event in London, so it seems appropriate to look at recent AECish earnings. You may recall that Bentley said it filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering of its shares back in the summer but hasn’t said a peep (or IPOed) since. Yesterday CEO Greg Bentley said that his team is waiting for the volatility in the stock markets to calm, so that the IPO can be assured of the best (ie highest) price per share. A company IPOs only once, so getting the timing right is crucial. One measure of volatility is the VIX, the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, which looks at options for S&P 500 shares. Options are forward-looking bets; do investors think a share’s price is going to go up or down, and by how much? You can look at the VIX here; it was $16 on July 1; in August, it spiked at $40 and on 30 October, it had wiggled its way back down to $15. It seems that a low VIX means calms and confident investors and lots of IPOs, while a high VIX means too much uncertainty, so many stalled IPOs. COO Malcolm Walter said that Bentley has time to let the volatility settle further. SEC rules will require refiling or amending the paperwork at some point, but there’s no huge urgency. Mr. Bentley offered no other comment on the IPO or on the company’s business performance.

Trimble, on the other hand, release results on Thursday. Revenue for its Q3 was $562 million, down 4% as reported and flat in constant currencies. Engineering and Construction revenue was down 5% as reported at $326 million; Field Solutions revenue was down 17%; Mobile Solutions revenue was up 9% and Advanced Devices was down 6%. Confusing, right? But it’s actually better than Trimble had forecast, above even the top end of Trimble’s own guidance of revenue between $535 million and $560 million and way way ahead of consensus revenue of $545 million. CEO Steven Berglund told investors that revenue was brought down by “continued poor conditions in the agriculture market, the effects of oil price declines, and foreign exchange effects.” He sees these all easing, leading Trimble to return to growth in 2016. For Q4, Trimble expects revenue between $520 million and $550 million.

AspenTech also reported revenue on Thursday, with total FQ1 revenue of $120 million up 12%. Subscription and software revenue was up 13% to $112 million while services and other revenue was $8.4 million, flat year/year. CEO Antonio Pietri said the Q1 results “reflects the strength of our business model, including long-term contracts, positive demand trends from owner-operator customers and continued best-in-class profitability, despite a challenging macro environment.”

Today is a big day here at #YII2015: the finalists for the Be Inspired awards give their presentations and the jurors have the tough, tough task of picking a winner in each category. More soon.