From its roots in the early 1980s, Autodesk
It's been a smart strategy, and as seen in last week's earnings report, Autodesk is still a growth company. In the first quarter, Autodesk reported revenues of $355 million, a 19% increase from the same period in 2004. During this time, net income increased from $43 million, or $0.18 per diluted share, to $76 million, or $0.31 per diluted share. In fact, the first quarter saw 25 product introductions, the most in Autodesk's history.
A variety of factors favor Autodesk. First, the company's customers are in highly competitive industries (such as manufacturing) and need to find ways to differentiate themselves. One approach is better design, which CAD software can make much more efficient. Such software packages enable companies to cut costs within already capital-intensive industries. Its precision modeling can save manufacturers from costly error fixes down the line.
Autodesk's software also allows collaboration. This is becoming increasingly important as companies globalize and outsource operations. Moreover, Autodesk's solutions are easy to use and offer a quick return on investment.
In light of these advantages, it's no surprise that Autodesk upped its guidance from its prior $1.05 to $1.10 estimate. The company now expects full-year earnings of $1.14 to $1.19 per share.
However, investors' familiarity with Autodesk's success story has been reflected in the stock, which has a 52-week range of $15.65 to $38.98. Investors appear to have discounted the good news; the stock actually fell $0.68 to $35.88 on the earnings release. To excite investors, Autodesk will need to juice growth even more, which is no easy feat for a company that appears to already be firing on all cylinders.
Fool contributor Tom Taulli does not own shares mentioned in this article.