Autodesk posts lower 3Q profit, sales, shares fall

AP News
Posted: Nov 17, 2009 6:32 PM

Design and engineering software maker Autodesk Inc. said Tuesday its business looks "increasingly stable" despite posting a sharp drop in third-quarter profit.

But the company forecast fourth-quarter adjusted earnings below Wall Street's expectations and shares tumbled in after-hours trading.

For the three months ended Oct. 31, the company earned $29.5 million, or 13 cents per share, down from a profit of $104.5 million, or 46 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier. Excluding items, adjusted earnings were 27 cents per share in the latest quarter.

Revenue fell 31 percent to $416.9 million from $607.1 million.

The results topped expectations of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, who had been looking for a profit of 23 cents per share on sales of $415.3 million, on average.

The company said it posted sequential increases in a "number of important metrics," such as revenue from the Americas and Europe/Middle East/Africa regions and revenue from its 3D animation products, among others. This, said President and CEO Carl Bass, "reflects the business environment that began stabilizing in the second quarter of this fiscal year."

Looking ahead to the current quarter, however, Autodesk forecast adjusted earnings of 19 cents to 24 cents per share and revenue in the range of $420 million to $440 million.

Analysts expect higher earnings of 25 cents per share on sales of $433.5 million, on average.

Shares fell $2.50, or 9.3 percent, to $24.50 in after-hours trading. The stock had closed earlier down 44 cents at $27.