Speech and search technology services company, Appen (ASX:APX), was an outstanding performer last month after announcing a material upgrade to its full-year earnings guidance.

Appen is a global leader across its two divisions namely content relevance, which provides smart data to improve the relevance, and accuracy of search results and language resources, which provides data used in speech-recognition technologies (e.g. Apple’s Siri) and other machine-learning applications.

Appen counts nine of the world’s 10 largest technology companies as clients and continues to add new clients and increase margins. Appen is well placed to continue to benefit from the rise of machine learning, as well as voice-based technologies.

Despite the quantum of the upgrade (EBITDA is now expected to be 40-50% above CY16, up from previous guidance of mid-to-high teens EBITDA growth), we see further scope for earnings upgrades over the balance of the calendar year based on the current order book and the strong operational momentum across the business. (VIEW LINK)