Why Autodesk Shares Surged

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 company Autodesk (NASDAQ: ADSK  ) popped 12% today after its quarterly results easily topped Wall Street expectations.

So what: The stock has been sluggish in 2013 on weak demand for its computer-aided design software, but today's Q2 beat -- adjusted EPS of $0.45 versus the consensus of $0.42 -- is prompting analysts to raise their estimates a bit. Of course, revenue still slipped 1.2% while operating margins declined 100 basis points over the year-ago period, suggesting that Autodesk's competitive position continues to weaken.

Now what: Management now sees Q3 adjusted EPS of $0.36-$0.40 on revenue of $540 million-$555 million, versus Wall Street's view of $0.50 and $580 million. "The challenging dynamics within some of the end-markets that we serve has led us to adjust our growth assumptions," said CFO Mark Hawkins. "While the near-term revenue target is lower, we remain diligent about managing our spend while making essential investments to drive growth." With the stock hitting a new 52-week high today and trading at a forward P/E around 20, however, I'd wait for a wider margin of safety before buying into that growth.

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