Autodesk shares fall on disappointing outlook |

Autodesk shares fall on disappointing outlook

NEW YORK – The stock of Autodesk Inc. fell Friday after the maker of design software gave a cautious forecast for the next fiscal year, creating concerns that its recent period of robust growth is winding down.In midday trading, Autodesk shares were down $6.11, or 13 percent, at $40.99 on the Nasdaq Stock Market.Thursday, after the financial markets closed, the San Rafael, Calif., company posted net income for the quarter ended Oct. 31 of $94.5 million, or 38 cents a share, compared with $74.1 million, or 30 cents a share, a year ago.Results include an $18 million tax benefit.Revenue jumped 26 percent to $378.3 million from $300.2 million.License revenue, a key measure of business strength, rose 20 percent, while maintenance revenue surged 62 percent.The company lifted its outlook for the fourth quarter, which ends in January, and next fiscal year.For next year, the company pegged its profit at $1.16 a share to $1.20 a share, or $1.41 a share to $1.45 a share before stock-based compensation charges.It forecast its revenue would rise 10 percent to 12 percent compared with its expectations for the current fiscal year.Based on these values, the company expects $1.662 billion to $1.703 billion in revenue for 2007, compared with the analyst forecast of $1.73 billion.The projection also calls for earnings of $1.41 to $1.45 a share, excluding stock-based compensation. Analysts had been looking for $1.45.Autodesk’s software is used by architects, home builders, manufacturers and artists. Revenue been growing rapidly in recent quarters as it upgrades users to three-dimensional from two-dimensional versions.”Concerns about sales growth loom,” said A. Sasa Zorovic, an analyst with Oppenheimer & Co., in a note. “Recent conversations with resellers, though mixed, indicate demand may be cooling off.”Vail, Colorado

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