Why Autodesk Shares Plunged

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of design software specialist Autodesk (NASDAQ: ADSK  ) sank 10% today after its quarterly results and outlook missed Wall Street expectations.

So what: Autodesk shares have rallied in recent months on optimism over improving sales, but a lackluster first-quarter -- adjusted EPS fell 10.6% on a 3% top-line drop -- coupled with downbeat guidance is forcing Mr. Market to sober up. Additionally, the bleak view is in stark contrast to the sunny outlook of rival Adobe Systems, suggesting that Autodesk's competitive position might be weakening.    

Now what: Management now sees second-quarter adjusted EPS of $0.39-$0.44 on revenue of $550 million-$570 million, versus the consensus of $0.51 and $597 million. "While our near-term targets are lower," said CFO Mark Hawkins, "we remain committed to driving long-term revenue growth and operating margin expansion as we balance our ongoing cost controls with key investments in our business." More important, with the stock now off about 20% from its 52-week highs and trading at a forward P/E of 15, Mr. Market might finally be offering a decent window to buy into those prospects.    

Interested in more info Autodesk? Add it to your watchlist.

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