Autodesk business shift clouds fourth-quarter financials

SAN RAFAEL -- Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) on Wednesday reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings dropped 28 percent and revenues slipped 3.3 percent from a year before, attributed to a shift from packaged computer applications to software as a service.

Autodesk, a longtime maker of AutoCAD software for industrial designers and engineers and newer applications in media production and 3-D animation as well as 3-D printing, is moving its business model from proprietary software to the cloud.

“We are at the very beginning of a platform and model transition that will propel Autodesk to the future," said Autodesk CEO Carl Bass. “We are focused on driving our subscription base, annual subscription value, and billings over the next four years and beyond. As anticipated, our transformation will start gradually and we expect will gain momentum as we go forward."

Revenue for its fourth quarter, ended Jan. 31, slipped to $586.6 million from $606.9 million from a year before. Fourth-quarter net income was $53.9 million, or 23 cents per share, down from $74.5 million, or 32 cents per share, a year prior.

Fiscal year revenue was $587 million. Normalized for the business-model transition, revenue would increased 2 percent for the year.

Fourth quarter results exclude approximately $30 million of license revenue that was deferred as a result of the company's business model transition.

 Autodesk employs about 7,800 globally, including around 600 in its San Rafael headquarters.

Company shares were $54.72 each at the close of trading Wednesday, up 6 cents a share from Tuesday.


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