Subscribe Today

Get our free articles delivered directly to your email!

Continue reading

Aspen Technology’s CFO Departs – C-Suite Transitions

  • October 26, 2023

Welcome to edition 64 of C-Suite Transitions, a weekly series on InsideArbitrage that tracks appointments and departures at publicly traded companies during the prior week. We highlight five appointments and departures each week by picking the largest companies from the full list of management changes.

Sudden Departures

  1. PRST: On October 16, 2023, Presto Automation announced that President Dan Mosher resigned.
  2. SLCA: On October 18, 2023,  U.S. Silica Holdings announced Chief Financial Officer Donald A. Merril was terminated without cause effective as of October 20, 2023.
  3. FUV: On October 16, 2023, Arcimoto Chief Legal Officer John W. Dorbin, Jr., notified the company of his decision to resign from his position, effective October 19, 2023.
  4. MCBC: On October 19, 2023, Macatawa Bank Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer Ronald L. Haan announced his retirement effective November 1, 2023.
  5. MKTW: On October 18, 2023, MarketWise announced the termination of Chief Corporate Development Officer  Marco Ferri without cause, effective October 13, 2023.
  6. SUNW: On October 16, 2023, Sunworks Chief Executive Officer Gaylon Morris submitted to the Board of Directors of his resignation from his position effective October 16, 2023.
  7. SOBR: Effective October 13, 2023, SOBR Safe eliminated the position of Chief Revenue Officer. In doing so, the Board of Directors did not renew the employment contract of Michael Watson and terminated his employment.
  8. RAVE: On October 16, 2023, Rave Restaurant Group  Chief Operating Officer Michael F. Burns Jr., resigned effective as of October 27, 2023.
  9. HHS: On October 17, 2023, Harte Hanks announced Chief Financial Officer Lauri Kearnes departs effective October 13, 2023.
  10. STKL: On October 11, 2023, Sunopta Chief Financial Officer Scott Huckins resigns effective October 13, 2023, in order to accept a position with another public company.
  11. BIO: On October 12, 2023, Bio-Rad Laboratories Chief Financial Officer Ilan Daskal notified the company of his plans to resign  to pursue another opportunity, effective  November 6, 2023.
  12. TUP: On October 16, 2023, Tupperware terminated the employment of President and Chief Executive Officer Miguel Fernandez.
  13. TPET: On October 6, 2023, Trio Petroleum Chief Executive Officer Frank C. Ingriselli resigned effective October 23, 2023.

Aspen Technology, Inc. (AZPN) $180.92

Market Cap: $11.55B

EV: $11.40B

Key Insights

  • Aspen Technology, Inc., also known as AspenTech provides software and services that empower energy and chemical industry professionals to design facilities and enhance maintenance and operations.
  • In October 2021, Emerson Electric (EMR) announced its acquisition of a 55% majority stake in AspenTech for $6 billion.
  • On October 19, 2023, AspenTech announced that Chantelle Breithaupt would step down as Chief Financial Officer for another opportunity.
  • Non-cash amortization expenses related to the Emerson transaction makes it appear that the company is posting losses despite strong free cash flows. Most quant screens will therefore miss this growth story.
  • AspenTech ended fiscal ‘23 with approximately $241.3 million of cash and cash equivalents and no debt.

AspenTech specializes in providing industrial software solutions for asset-intensive industries globally. Their software is designed to optimize the entire lifecycle of assets, covering aspects such as design, operation, and maintenance. Aspen Technology serves a diverse range of industries, including oil & gas, chemicals, engineering, construction, power, utilities, metals, mining, and pharmaceuticals. The company operates globally in 82 countries.

Management Change

Chantelle BreithauptOn October 19, 2023, Aspen Technology announced that Chantelle Breithaupt had informed the company that she would step down as Chief Financial Officer for another opportunity effective January 1, 2024.

Ms. Breithaupt joined AspenTech on March 22, 2021. Her prior roles include serving as a board member for the non-profit organization Rising Above the Storms from October 2019 to October 2021. Preceding this, she held the position of Senior Vice President of Finance at Cisco from April 2014 to March 2021. Before her tenure at Cisco, Ms. Breithaupt served as the CFO for GE Healthcare Services in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Russia from October 2009 to March 2014.

Christopher Stagno, the current SVP and Chief Accounting Officer, is set to take on the role of Interim CFO starting January 1, 2024, in the absence of a permanent CFO appointment by that time. He brings over 25 years of financial leadership, including a role as Treasurer at Cognex Corporation, a machine vision products provider.

The Aspen – Emerson Merger

On October 10, 2021, Emerson (EMR) and AspenTech entered into a definitive agreement to contribute Emerson’s industrial software businesses – OSI Inc. and the Geological Simulation Software business to AspenTech. The combination was completed on May 16, 2022, resulting in the formation of the new AspenTech. As part of the agreement, Emerson contributed $6 billion in cash to AspenTech, which was received by the company’s shareholders, in exchange for a 55% stake in AspenTech.

The Emerson divisions that have been incorporated into AspenTech specialize in supplying grid management software to electric companies and geologic modeling software to oil & gas companies. In addition, Emerson and AspenTech have entered into an enhanced commercial partnership that will enable the company to penetrate new and existing markets.

Aspen Tech Emerson Transaction Structure

New AspenTech


At the Piper Sandler conference in 2022, AspenTech Chief Executive Antonio Pietri said:

“When you look at Qatar, they’re one of the biggest producers of LNG in the world. And now they’ve announced partnerships with companies like TotalEnergies, Exxon Mobil, and others to help finance and eventually operate these facilities. The way we see that investment show up in our business, it starts with the engineering companies.”

He added: “And I believe that probably because of some of these investments is why we saw a faster growth in our engineering business in fiscal 2022 than what we expected. And eventually, it’s why we think we’ll have a faster-growing fiscal 2023 because these engineering companies benefit from all that capital spending and the design for these assets,” Pietri said. “That’s how we see it manifest itself, is through the use of our software in our customers’ organizations.”

Financial Overview

AZPN Financial statement
Source: InsideArbitrage

During the earnings call, CEO Antonio Pietri said: ” we made substantial progress integrating and transforming OSI and SSE, and we’re pleased with how well this business has fit into our product portfolio, given how early we are in our journey with these assets. 

The SSE and DGM suite of products were both successful in their first year as part of new AspenTech, exceeding our anticipated point of ACV growth contribution by 60 basis points in total. SSE had an exceptional fiscal ‘23 and was the largest area of outperformance for the year.

In the span of 13 months, we made significant progress bringing OSI, SSE and Heritage AspenTech together. We successfully integrated this business’s sales, marketing, finance and product development teams, among other areas to create a fully unified organization.”

FY23 ACV Suite Performance
Investor Presentation

As of June 30, 2023, AspenTech’s Annual Contract Value (ACV) increased by 11.8% to $884.9 million, while the Total Contract Value (TCV) grew to $3.6 billion from $3.2 billion the previous year, indicating strong future revenue potential and financial stability.

FY23 ACV Suite Performance
Investor Presentation


Regarding its long-term outlook, the company’s increase in ACV and TCV, coupled with the strategic Emerson partnership, provides compelling evidence for future growth.

  • Revenue derived from Licenses and Solutions saw a substantial increase, going from $180.9 million in 2021 to $669.19 million in 2023, likely due to a surge in new contracts.
  • Maintenance revenue also showed significant growth, rising from $92.56 million to $316.91 million over the same period, indicating strong customer retention and potential upselling.
  • The ‘Services and Other’ category also experienced growth, increasing from $27.16 million to $58.08 million.

Total revenue surged from $300.64 million in 2021 to $1.04 billion in 2023. This revenue growth did not translate into net income because the company is amortizing intangible assets from its Emerson transaction and registering large non-cash losses.

Gross profit surged from $137.63 million in 2021 to $670.59 million in 2023.

The company ended fiscal ‘23 with approximately $241.3 million of cash and cash equivalents and no debt.

AspenTech’s Board of Directors approved a new share repurchase authorization of up to $300 million for fiscal 2024. This is in addition to the $100 million accelerated share repurchase program announced on May 5, 2023. The accelerated program is expected to conclude in the first quarter of fiscal 2024, after which the $300 million repurchase authorization will be initiated.

Fourth Quarter and Fiscal 2023 (Press Release)(Investor Presentation)

AspenTech will release financial results for its first quarter of fiscal year 2024, which ended September 30, 2023, after the U.S. financial markets close on Monday, November 6, 2023.

Fiscal Year 2023

  • Annual Contract Value (ACV) was $884.9 million by the close of fiscal 2023, marking an 11.8% YoY increase and a 3.5% QoQ increase.
  • Annual Spend for Heritage AspenTech was $730.9 million at the end of fiscal 2023, reflecting an 8.5% YoY rise and a 2.7% QoQ increase.
  • Non-GAAP operating cash flow was $299.2 million for fiscal 2023.
  • Free cash flow was $292.3 million for fiscal 2023.
  • As of June 30, 2023, AspenTech had cash and cash equivalents of $241.2 million, no borrowings, and $193.1 million available on its revolving credit facility.
Q4 FY23 Results
Investor Presentation

Fiscal Year 2024 

FY 24 Guidance

AspenTech is set to announce its Q4 2023 earnings on October 26, 2023.


AspenTech is an interesting company that has benefited from the Emerson transaction. The fact that the company is posting GAAP losses due to amortization expenses implies that it will not show up on most screens. Looking at their Fiscal 2024 guidance, non-GAAP operating income of $445 million on revenue of $1.12 billion is very impressive. A strong debt-free balance sheet, stock buybacks, and double-digit revenue growth add to the appeal. Using its $11.4 billion enterprise value, the company is trading just below 26 times fiscal 2024 non-GAAP operating income.

I will be adding the company to my internal watch list for further research.


1. P10 Inc (PX): $9.11

P10 announced the appointment of Luke Sarsfield as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately.

MarketCap: $1.06BAvg. Daily Volume (30 days):287,246Revenue (TTM): $228.07M
Net Income Margin (TTM): 5.54%ROE (TTM): 3.18%Net Debt: $269.59M
P/E: 88.45Forward P/E: 9.61EV/EBIDTA (TTM): 21.89
P/S (TTM): 4.91P/B (TTM): 2.6952 Week Range: $8.70 – $13.37

2. Bio-Techne Corp (TECH): $61.28

Kim KeldermanOn October 19, 2023, Bio-Techne Corporation announced effective November 1, 2023, Kim Kelderman will be appointed as Chief Operating Officer of the company.


MarketCap: $9.70BAvg. Daily Volume (30 days):390,732Revenue (TTM): $1.14B
Net Income Margin (TTM): 25.1%ROE (TTM): 15.57%Net Debt: $250.66M
P/E: 34.82Forward P/E:  32.15EV/EBIDTA (TTM): 28.91
P/S (TTM): 8.72P/B (TTM): 4.7352 Week Range: $60.9 – $90.63

3. U.S. Silica Holdings Inc (SLCA): $12.66

Kevin HoughOn October 18, 2023, Kevin Hough was appointed, effective October 20, 2023, to serve as interim Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Accounting Officer of U.S. Silica Holdings, Inc

MarketCap: $976.30MAvg. Daily Volume (30 days):620,823Revenue (TTM): $620,823
Net Income Margin (TTM): 9.20%ROE (TTM): 21.59%Net Debt: $776.70M
P/E: 6.4Forward P/E: N/AEV/EBIDTA (TTM): 4.08
P/S (TTM): 0.59P/B (TTM): 1.2452 Week Range: $10.38 – $14.90

4. CVS Health Corp (CVS): $68.53

Thomas CowheyEffective October 13, 2023,  the company’s Board of Directors appointed Thomas F. Cowhey, Senior Vice President, Corporate Finance, to serve as Interim Chief Financial Officer, effective October 13, 2023.

MarketCap: $88.02BAvg. Daily Volume (30 days):6,083,395Revenue (TTM): $338.07B
Net Income Margin (TTM): 0.83%ROE (TTM): 3.81%Net Debt: $65.25B
P/E: 32.04Forward P/E: 10.04EV/EBIDTA (TTM): 8.38
P/S (TTM): 0.26P/B (TTM): 1.2252 Week Range: $64.62 – $104.83

5. CNO Financial Group  (CNO): $22.52

Michellen WildinOn October 16, 2023, CNO Financial Group announced that Michellen Wildin has been named Senior Vice President, Accounting, effective October 23, 2023, and will succeed to the role of Chief Accounting Officer of the company on January 1, 2024.


MarketCap: $2.545BAvg. Daily Volume (30 days): 651,154Revenue (TTM): $3.91B
Net Income Margin (TTM): 1.36%ROE (TTM): 2.52%Net Debt: $3.52B
P/E: 49.94Forward P/E: 10.49EV/EBIDTA (TTM): 9.71
P/S (TTM): 0.67P/B (TTM): 1.2952 Week Range: $19.95 – $26.35


1. U.S. Silica Holdings Inc (SLCA): $12.66

On October 18, 2023,  U.S. Silica Holdings announced Chief Financial Officer Donald A. Merril was terminated without cause effective as of October 20, 2023.

MarketCap: $976.30MAvg. Daily Volume (30 days):620,823Revenue (TTM): $620,823
Net Income Margin (TTM): 9.20%ROE (TTM): 21.59%Net Debt: $776.70M
P/E: 6.4Forward P/E: N/AEV/EBIDTA (TTM): 4.08
P/S (TTM): 0.59P/B (TTM): 1.2452 Week Range: $10.38 – $14.90

2. Crown Castle Inc  (CCI): $87.26

Daniel K. SchlangerOn October 18, 2023, Crown Castle announced that Daniel K. Schlanger will, effective March 31, 2024, depart Crown Castle. Mr. Schlanger currently serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

MarketCap: $37.84BAvg. Daily Volume (30 days):3,960,494Revenue (TTM): $7.07B
Net Income Margin (TTM): 21.96%ROE (TTM): 21.65%Net Debt: $28.61B
P/E: 24.37Forward P/E: 21.83EV/EBIDTA (TTM): 15.82
P/S (TTM): 5.30P/B (TTM): 5.3752 Week Range: $84.72 – $147.66

3. CVS Health Corp  (CVS): $68.53

Effective October 13, 2023, Shawn M. Guertin, the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of CVS Health Corporation has begun a personal leave of absence for unforeseen family medical reasons.

MarketCap: $88.02BAvg. Daily Volume (30 days):6,083,395Revenue (TTM): $338.07B
Net Income Margin (TTM): 0.83%ROE (TTM): 3.81%Net Debt: $65.25B
P/E: 32.04Forward P/E: 10.04EV/EBIDTA (TTM): 8.38
P/S (TTM): 0.26P/B (TTM): 1.2252 Week Range: $64.62 – $104.83

4. Sysco Corp.  (SYY): $65.74

On October 12, 2023, the Board of Directors of Sysco Corporation Scott B. Stone, who has been serving as Interim Chief Accounting Officer will step down from that position and will continue his role as Vice President, Financial Reporting.



MarketCap: $32.98BAvg. Daily Volume (30 days):2,691,615Revenue (TTM): $76.32B
Net Income Margin (TTM): 2.32%ROE (TTM): 102.44%Net Debt: $10.42B
P/E: 18.95Forward P/E: 15.08EV/EBIDTA (TTM):12.63
P/S (TTM): 0.44P/B (TTM): 16.552 Week Range: $62.24 – $85.06

5. Cohen & Steers Inc. (CNS): $50.60

On October 17, 2023, Matthew S. Stadler provided notice to the company of his intention to retire from his positions as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the company effective in 2024.

MarketCap: $2.49BAvg. Daily Volume (30 days): 175,783Revenue (TTM): $495.78M
Net Income Margin (TTM):26.57%ROE (TTM): 31.61%Net Debt: N/A
P/E: 19.02Forward P/E:  16.69EV/EBIDTA (TTM): 13.96
P/S (TTM): 4.88P/B (TTM): 7.0452 Week Range: $50.10 – $78.87

If you are reading this article and have not signed up to receive such articles by email, please sign up either for our free, IA Plus or IA Premium service here. If you are an existing subscriber, you can login to the InsideArbitrage.com website to adjust the kinds of articles you receive by email by turning on or turning off specific categories of articles.