Israel's Nice Q4 profit tops estimates, sees strong 2021 growth

JERUSALEM, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Israeli enterprise software provider Nice reported a better-than-expected increase in quarterly net profit in the last three months of 2020, boosted by continued steep gains in revenue from its cloud platforms.

Nice said on Thursday it earned $1.61 per diluted share excluding one-time items in the fourth quarter, compared with $1.58 a year earlier. Revenue grew 2% to $438 million, with cloud revenue up 33% to $223 million.

Nice was expected to post adjusted EPS of $1.55 on revenue of $433 million, according to a forecast from I/B/E/S Refinitiv.

For the full year, revenue rose 31% to $786 million, with CEO Barak Eilam saying cloud income accounted for more than 50% of total revenue in the second half of the year.

“2021 is shaping up to be a year of a changed reality, in which the events of 2020 have created a new normal, and at the same time provided new opportunities in cloud and digital,” he said.

“Enterprises are seeking to rapidly accelerate their innovation cycles and leap forward much faster than before while continuously adapting to changes.”

Nice forecast 2021 adjusted EPS of $6.12-$6.32 and revenue of $1.79-$1.81 billion, broadly in line analysts’ expectations for EPS of $6.28 and revenue of $1.81.

It estimated first-quarter revenue in the range of $445 million to $455 million and adjusted EPS of $1.42 to $1.52.

Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Kirsten Donovan