Autodesk shares sink on weak 1Q and forecast

Autodesk says economy weighs on 1st quarter and shares sink after hours

Associated Press

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (AP) -- Autodesk Inc. on Thursday reported fiscal first-quarter results that disappointed investors, saying "mixed" economic conditions worldwide had hurt its business.

The design software company also issued a weak forecast for the current quarter, and shares slid in after-hours trading.

The San Rafael, Calif.-based company reported after the market closed that it earned $55.6 million, or 24 cents per share, for the quarter that ended April 30. That's down from $78.9 million, or 34 cents per share, in the same quarter last year. Excluding one-time items such as the cost of paying employees in stock and options, per-share profit fell to 42 cents from 47 cents per share.

Revenue fell 3 percent, to $570.4 million from $588.6 million, with sales dropping in each of the company's regions. April was particularly weak, said CEO Carl Bass.

Analysts polled by FactSet were anticipating earnings of 45 cents per share on revenue of $583.6 million.

The company makes design software that is used by engineers, architects and digital artists, among others.

Autodesk forecast adjusted earnings of 39 to 44 cents per share on revenue of $550 to $570 million its fiscal second quarter, which ends in July. Analysts were anticipating earnings of 51 cents per share on revenue of $597 million.

"Our performance in the first quarter and a global economy that continues to be uneven have led us to reconsider our fiscal year 2014 outlook," said CFO Mark Hawkins. The company now expects revenue to grow 3 percent for the year ending in January 2014, suggesting sales of about $2.38 billion. Analysts predict $2.44 billion.

Shares dropped $2.78, or 7 percent, to $37. Its stock added 35 cents to close regular trading at $39.78 Thursday, and has gained 12.5 percent in 2013.

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