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Aspen Technology shares jump on 4Q results

BURLINGTON, Mass. (AP) -- Aspen Technology Inc. returned to a profit in its fiscal fourth quarter, as the company's subscription and software sales increased sharply and it recorded a tax benefit.

Its results trounced Wall Street estimates, and investors sent the stock rocketing up almost 14 percent in after-market trading on Thursday.

Aspen's software is designed to help industrial and engineering companies make their plants and supply chains more productive and cut costs.

For the three months ended June 30, the company reported net income of $20.4 million, or 21 cents per share, compared with a loss of $5.4 million, or 6 cents per share, in the prior-year period.

The latest results included a non-cash tax benefit of $9.8 million as the company simplified its Canadian corporate structure.

Excluding the impact of expenses related to stock-based pay and other one-time items, the business software provider's earnings amounted to 24 cents per share.

Analysts polled by FactSet were anticipating, on average, adjusted earnings of 8 cents per share.

Quarterly revenue vaulted 30 percent to $83.3 million from $64 million a year earlier. Analysts had forecast $78.8 million in revenue.

Subscription and software sales drove sales gains in the latest quarter, offsetting a modest decline in revenue from services and other categories.

For the fiscal 2013, Aspen Technology posted net income of $45.3 million, or 47 cents per share, compared with a loss of $13.8 million, or 15 cents per share, in fiscal 2012. Full-year revenue grew 28 percent to $311.4 million.

Shares in the Burlington, Mass., company ended regular trading down $1.29, or 3.9 percent, at $31.82. The stock added $4.38 to $36.20 in extended trading. Through Thursday's close, the stock has gained 15 percent this year.