What happened

Computer-aided design software specialist Autodesk (ADSK -1.53%) outperformed the market last month as its stock gained 14% compared to a 4% jump in the S&P 500, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The boost added to a significant longer-term rally, with shares up over 30% so far in 2019.

A man hand using design software on a laptop.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

April's spike came as investors digested mostly positive operating news from the company. Executives said in a shareholder meeting in late March that sales growth is tracking on pace with management's aggressive early outlook. Specifically, revenue should rise to between $3.25 billion and $3.3 billion in fiscal 2020, which equates to gains of between 26% and 28%.

Nearly all of that sales base will be comprised of recurring revenue, too, now that the company has fully transitioned to a cloud-based subscription business model.

Now what

Autodesk will announce first-quarter results on Thursday, May 23, and that report should add clarity for investors around whether the software maker will achieve its fiscal 2020 objectives. CEO Andrew Anagnost and his team have predicted revenue of between $735 million and $745 million for the period, or around 32% growth. Besides hitting that goal, investors are expecting Autodesk to report healthy gains in billings, which lay the foundation for robust revenue over the coming quarters.