FactSet Research Systems Inc. (NYSE:FDS) Q4 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Sep 24, 2020 • 11:00 am ET
[Operator Instructions] Our first question comes from Kevin McVeigh with Credit Suisse.
Great. Thanks. Hey, so you had made a comment -- you said the highest quarter incremental ASV growth in the Company history. Can you kind of just frame the puts and takes around that? And specifically, it looks like on the research side, that's seen a little bit more momentum. Is that just structural change around COVID or some of the early benefit of the multi-year investments? Just any thoughts on that would be helpful.
Sure. Hey, Kevin. So, yeah, it was broad based across all of the businesses in Q4. It was very strong. Research I think was comparable to what we did in Q4 of last year. We did see decent hiring in the banks. I think many people were concerned that that was going to be significantly lower, but we saw pretty good strength there. Analytics had a particularly strong quarter. We saw -- we talked about that earlier in the year where some of the investments we've made previously around the portfolio life cycle were really starting to gain momentum. So we did great with our performance system, which was really the result of the acquisition of BI-SAM, integrated with PA, and also our reporting system, which was the Vermilion acquisition. So, a great quarter from analytics. CTS had a very good quarter, better than Q4 of last year. Our hopes were to grow CTS a little bit faster this year, but we did have less sales people, I think, than we needed at the beginning of the year going into '20, which we've corrected going into '21. And wealth had a really good quarter relative to last Q4. So, all businesses grew, firing on all cylinders. And the sales team did a tremendous job of executing on the pipeline that we had laid out at the beginning of the second half.
That's helpful. And then, Helen, real quick, the expense management continues to be really, really effective. Any thoughts on just any structural savings maybe on the travel side or occupancy? Does that allow you to share more with the market or accelerate product development? Just any thoughts around that? I know it's still early, but you've got a couple of quarters here.
Yeah. Thank you for that question. And it's definitely an important one. Right now, given our fiscal year-end, we have the situation where we have half a year of non-COVID, half a year of COVID, right? And so, as we think about the go-forward, we have, A, proven that we've been able to sell virtually very effectively; and B, we have to obviously take into account how our clients behavior is. And so, when we think about the go-forward, we do assume that we are going to go back to the offices sometime in the second half for us, but also that there will be some level of change, and that is built into our numbers. Now, that is in part,