Appen Ltd (ASX:APX) shares higher on strong first-half result

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Source: Appen

Appen Ltd (ASX: APX) shares are $1.04 or 7.36% higher at $15.18 at lunchtime on Tuesday after releasing its first-half results.

Revenue rose 106% to $152.8 million, including 47% organic revenue growth. Appen reported an underlying EBITDA of $25.6 million up 100%, and underlying NPAT of $17.8 million up 119%.

The company declared a fully-franked interim dividend of 4.0 cents per share, up 33% from
1H 2017.

The company says it is maintaining its high growth trajectory due to the sustained demand for data for artificial intelligence (AI), the acquisition of Leapforce in 2017, expansion of work with current customers and winning new customers.

“Our investment in Leapforce coupled with increased scale and ongoing productivity
initiatives has attributed to outstanding revenue and margin growth for Content Relevance,” CEO, Mark Brayan said.

Outlook

Chairman, Chris Vonwiller, said: “We have a strong balance sheet and we are committed to maintain our role as a world leader in the development of high-quality, human annotated datasets for machine learning and artificial intelligence”.

Appen says its underlying EBITDA for the year ending Dec 31st 2018 is forecast to be in the range $54 million – $59 million.

Since the beginning of 2018, the Appen Ltd share price has gained 81.71% compared to the S&P/ASX 200 Index which has gained 4.07% in the period. 

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Contributors to this article may own shares in some of the companies mentioned in this article. The Capital Club has a thorough disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.
Lauren Surplice is a keen follower of the stock market, investing in individual companies and funds. She follows the daily stock market news, covering the ASX stocks that are moving the markets. You can contact Lauren at laurens@thecapitalclub.com.au