February 15, 2018 / 11:09 AM / in a year

Israel's Nice Q4 profit tops estimates, sees strong 2018

TEL AVIV, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Israeli software provider Nice posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit on record revenue and forecast strong growth in 2018, boosted by its analytic and cloud tools.

Nice said on Thursday it earned $1.35 per diluted share excluding one-time items in the quarter, up from $1.18 a year earlier. Revenue rose 21 percent to a record $395.8 million while cloud revenue surpassed $100 million.

Analysts had expected earnings of $1.32 per share on revenue of $394.8 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

For 2018, Nice forecast adjusted EPS of $4.40-$4.60 and revenue of $1.43-$1.454 billion. Analysts were forecasting adjusted EPS of $4.48 on revenue of $1.44 billion.

For the first quarter Nice estimates adjusted EPS of 97 cents to $1.03 and revenue of $328-$338 million.

Nice has been banking on analytical tools, which allow companies to assess large amounts of data to spot fraud and security threats, to deliver faster growth.

“Our addressable market has increased five-fold,” Nice CEO Barak Eilam said. “Cloud, which now represents approximately 30 percent of our total revenue, is expected to grow to more than 50 percent of our total revenue in the years to come.”

Analytics will continue to expand with the addition of artificial intelligence, he said, adding the company expects to continue to grow operating income at a double digit rate. (Reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Steven Scheer)

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