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Good Time to Buy Autodesk

Posted on Friday, Apr 11th 2008

I have worked a lot with CAD businesses in their various forms, so I have a fair bit of visceral knowledge of the market. I own Autodesk stock, and have no intention of selling it anytime soon. With that backdrop, let’s look at their most recent financials and business metrics.

Autodesk (ADSK), the leader in 3D Design automation, announced their Q4 results recently. With Q4 revenues of $599 million, they beat market expectations of $581 million and grew 20% over the previous year Q4 revenue of $497 million. EPS for the quarter at $0.52 was marginally lower than market expectations of $0.54 and increased by 17% over the previous year.

Segment wise, License revenue grew by 18% to $446 million and maintenance revenue from subscriptions grew by 25% to $153 million.

Region wise, American revenues showed a marginal increase of 2% to reach $206 million. EMEA revenue increased to $262 million recording an impressive 38% increase. Asia Pacific revenues increased by 24% to $131 million. Emerging markets have been an area of focus for them, and their impressive results in the region are proof of their success.

Division wise, design solutions grew by 19% to $263 million, manufacturing solutions grew by 26% to $123 million, AEC Solutions grew by 22% to $137 million and Media and entertainment segment grew by 10% to $71 million.

For the year, Autodesk crossed $2.2 billion in revenue, recording an impressive 22% increase over the previous year revenues.

Autodesk recorded a substantial double digit increase in the 2D solutions as well. The management believes that strong growth in 2D creates future opportunity and provides easy migration to 3D products and digital prototyping. It is interesting to see that the 2D market still has growth, but I guess that is at least partially due to uptake in the emerging markets.

Autodesk’s 3D penetration in their customer base still remains under 15%, which means the 2D to 3D conversion opportunity is still spectacular.

They continue their focus on their project management platform Revit and making interoperable products. They completed three acquisitions last quarter – two technology companies and a provider of outsourced product development.

The technology companies acquired include Robobat and Carmel Software. Both, Robobat, which was acquired for $42.5 million and Carmel Software, were acquired to help build up Autodesk’s suite of software for structural engineering analysis, design, steel and concrete detailing, and expand their portfolio of sustainable design solutions.

The acquisition of Hanna Strategies will help them expand their global engineering and software development initiatives as Hanna has their centers in China, India and Atlanta.

They have, however, not yet acquired a web based “collaborative design” partner.

Recently the stock crashed to a new 52 week low of $29.58. It has gained ground since, and is currently trading above $33. This might still be a good price to pick up the stock, as I firmly believe in the company and its market. Over time, the gap between high-end and mid-range CAD has closed consistently, and Autodesk’s market opportunity continues to be robust.

1 yr ADSK

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Making money in stocks is different from fundamental analysis. the stock is in stage 4 downtrend (stan weinstein’s book at defines this). also company fundamentals always look best only at the stocks peak (remember Sun Micro etc in 2000). the stock market looks ahead, and not at past fundamental data.

it will be great if you can read books from or my updates

Avinash Agrawal Friday, April 11, 2008 at 2:26 PM PT


I am sure you know a lot about making money with stocks.

In a down market, my personal investment strategy is to simply hold on to really good fundamental companies, and let them execute. As long as there is
enough TAM (Total Addressable Market), the company will do just fine, and the stock will also recover.

I think, at only 15% 3D penetration within their install base, Autodesk has HUGE growth still to enjoy.

I cannot imagine how that does NOT translate into shareholder value appreciation. At least not if you believe that Buffet knows what he is talking about.

Sramana Mitra Friday, April 11, 2008 at 3:10 PM PT

[…] (ADSK) has been doing well for a few quarters. I had recommended Buy on the stock when it announced Q4 results last year, maintained this recommendation after the Q108 announcement, and again reiterate my view following […]

MaximumCEO » Blog Archive » Maintaining Buy On Autodesk: business strategy, supply chain management, outsourcing Monday, August 18, 2008 at 6:57 PM PT