2016 Year in Review
Fiscal 2016 results continued our positive topline growth. Revenue was up 12.0% while annual subscription value (“ASV”) increased 8.8% organically. This fiscal year marked our 38th year of operation, our 36th consecutive year of revenue growth and our 20th consecutive year of earnings growth as a public company. The pressures our clients have experienced in the past 12 months have not abated and we have dedicated ourselves to helping them navigate an uncertain environment. As of August 31, 2016, ASV totaled $1.15 billion, an increase of $92.0 million over the prior year. In addition, clients and users reached new highs of 3,092 and 65,655, respectively, in fiscal 2016. We returned $431.0 million to stockholders in the form of share repurchases and dividends, an increase of 33.5% over the prior year. This included $120.0 million relating to an accelerated share repurchase agreement (“ASR Agreement”) which we entered into in July 2016.
In 2016, we sought to strengthen and expand our core business model. Our strategic acquisition of Portware in October 2015 has provided a new stream of revenue and growth. Portware revenues have grown in double-digits since the acquisition and Portware is now break-even on an earnings per share basis. Additionally, we sold our Market Metrics business in July 2016 and recognized an after-tax gain of $81.7 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016. The sale allowed us to sharpen our focus on our long-term growth drivers and our mission to deliver world-class insight and information through our analytics, service, content and technology.
Our investment in product, coupled with the acquisition of Portware, now allows us to address an increasingly greater percentage of our clients’ enterprise workflow. Our robust Portfolio Analytics solutions have been the cornerstone of our growth in the middle office. With a growing interest in passive investment instruments, such as exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”), our effort to build out our ETF content and analytics product suite has made significant strides in fiscal 2016. We now have 29 ETFs in the marketplace based upon FactSet content and over 40 benchmarks. The first FactSet branded ETF, the SPDR FactSet Innovative Technology ETF, launched in January 2016.
As a testament to our broadening suite of premium products and the strength of our business and service model FactSet was awarded “Best Overall Provider,” "Best Research Provider" and "Best Analytics Provider" by Inside Market Data in May 2016. We were also named the “Best Data Analytics Provider” by Waters Technology in July 2016. Other recognition included “Best Research and Analytics Tool” award for our wealth management tools at the annual Systems in the City Awards. Portware also earned “Best Buy-side EMS” for the third time and was included on Global Finance’s first annual list of forex leaders, "The Innovators 2015 – Foreign Exchange."