November was a good month for the stock market, but Autodesk (ADSK -0.46%) investors fared even better by booking a 23% increase compared with a 3.4% boost in the S&P 500, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. The rally added to year-to-date gains for the software company, with shares up 35% so far in 2019.
The stock rose in anticipation of a positive earnings report from the software-as-a-service specialist, and investors weren't disappointed by the actual results. Autodesk said late in the month that sales jumped 28% thanks to robust demand from customers in areas like architecture and construction. CEO Andrew Anagnost and his team also revealed a 55% increase in software billings for projects to be delivered over the next few quarters.
Those billings point to more revenue growth ahead, but investors are just as impressed with Autodesk's booming annual cash flow, which is on pace to reach $1.3 billion this year versus $300 million in 2018. That success is the surest sign yet that the company's pivot to a subscription and cloud-based services model will generate strong returns over time.