Shares of Autodesk ( ADSK 0.53% ) popped 11.8% last month, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence, after the company reported its third-quarter results toward the end of November. Investors were happy to see the company boost revenue by 28% and make a new acquisition that should expand the company's software offerings.
Autodesk's sales hit $661 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2019, up 28% from the year-ago quarter, and non-GAAP earnings were $0.29 per share, which was a vast improvement from a loss of $0.12 per share in the third quarter of 2018.
Another highlight of the third quarter was the company's addition of 143,000 software subscriptions, which brought the total number of the company's subscribers to 4.08 million. Subscriber growth is an essential metric for Autodesk investors to keep track of, because sales from this business account for nearly three-quarters of the company's total revenue.
Additionally, investors may have been pleased to see Autodesk's purchase of PlanGrid for $875 million, which will allow the company to expand its construction productivity software services.
Autodesk CEO Andrew Anagnost said on the company's earnings call that the purchase "expands our expertise, presence, scale and reach in the construction space" and that PlanGrid already has 120,000 paid users. Anagnost added that "You have heard me say many times that the construction industry is a key focus area for us in becoming a design and make company. It's hungry to deploy more technology, and we're ready with compelling solutions."
Autodesk's shares have slipped about 6% since the beginning of December, but the drop may have more to do with general fears coming out of Wall Street about the economy than with concerns about Autodesk's business.
The good news for investors is that management has forecast more sales and earnings growth for the fourth quarter. Revenue is expected to be in the range of $700 to $710 million, which would be a year-over-year increase of 27% at the midpoint of guidance, and non-GAAP earnings per share should be between $0.40 and $0.44.
Autodesk's share price has jumped 28% so far this year, and if the company meets its fourth-quarter expectations, Autodesk may be poised for more gains heading into 2019.