FactSet Research Systems Inc. (NYSE:FDS) Q4 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Sep 24, 2020 • 11:00 am ET


FactSet Research Systems Inc. (NYSE:FDS) Q4 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Philip Snow

to benefit us as we go into 2021. CTS, the second biggest contributor, grew at 13%, thanks to continuing demand for core data feeds. And we are confident that this business will maintain its high growth rate as we head into 2021, especially as we develop new content and broaden our distribution channels.

Wealth continued to execute well on its pipeline with a well-distributed number of wins across various client segments and sizes, resulting in a 9% growth rate. And research saw increased retention this year and benefited from our investments in our industry-specific or deep sector content. We are particularly pleased to see the growth in this business remain stable at 1% with a well-balanced client base that includes asset managers, asset owners, sell-side research, corporates and portfolio managers.

In summary, I'm pleased with our performance in fiscal '20. I'm proud of our team, which has executed well across all areas of our company. Our business model, combined with our strong liquidity and balance sheet, position us well to continue to manage through uncertain markets. We believe our focus on providing solutions aimed at our clients' own digital transformations and an unwavering commitment to expanding our library of smart connected content is a winning strategy that is delivering results. As our survey showed, digital transformation efforts are an increasingly integral part of our clients' businesses. And FactSet is supporting its own growth by accelerating our clients' journeys through technology innovation.

We also have a strong and experienced sales team, focused on deepening client relationships and further diversifying our client bases -- our client base. For these reasons, we remain confident that the execution of our investment plan, along with continued product innovation, open and flexible solutions, and retooling our workforce to adapt to a virtual environment will help us return to a higher growth rate over time. Having said that, we approach our 2021 guidance and future higher targeted growth with necessary caution. We do not yet know the full extent of the impact to our clients as it relates to the pandemic. And we acknowledge risks remain such as delays in completing complex deals and challenges in client retention as budgets tighten. We are therefore viewing the new fiscal year carefully with projected ASV plus professional services growth anticipated to be in the range of $55 million to $85 million. Helen will take you through the details of our 2021 guidance in a few moments.

Just to wrap up, we enter fiscal 2021 with a sense of excitement. We're in a period of accelerated innovation within our industry as clients look to differentiate themselves and be ever more efficient. There is a great opportunity for us to work in new ways and create new products to improve the experience of both our clients and FactSeters around the globe.

You will now hear from Helen, who will take you through the specifics of our fourth quarter and full year performance for 2020.

Helen Shan

Thank you, Phil, and hello, everyone. I'm