Wall Street Watch Friday: Autodesk Crashes

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Carl Bass, President and CEO of Autodesk Inc. (Getty Images)

Are architects, engineers and animators in trouble? It's worth asking because Autodesk (ADSK) posted disappointing quarterly results on Thursday afternoon.

The longtime provider of 3D design, engineering, and architecture software saw its quarterly revenue climb 4%, but analysts were betting on 9% top-line growth. Autodesk also came up short on the bottom line.

This should be concerning to more than just Autodesk shareholders. If Autodesk's AutoCAD and other programs aren't selling it may point to a weakness in the architecture, engineering, and 3D animation industries. If firms aren't shelling out big bucks to stay current they may very well be hurting for business.

Things aren't going to get any better for Autodesk in the near term. The software company's outlook for the current quarter suggests that it will experience sequential dips in revenue and profitability. Wall Street, naively, was holding out for more.

Autodesk is also laying off 500 of its 7,500 employees. If it saw business picking up soon it probably wouldn't be handing out pink slips.

You don't need to be an architect to know that Autodesk is standing on a shaky foundation with this report.

Other Things Worth Watching

Are investors ready to hop off the cloud computing cloud? Enterprise software speedster salesforce.com (CRM) posted healthy quarterly results after Thursday's close, but spooked the market with mixed guidance. Salesforce has become the poster child of cloud computing, giving companies cheaper and more portable solutions to essential corporate software. The stock had been up nearly 45% in 2012, leading shareholders to expect sparkling results.

The two big movies opening at a multiplex near your on Friday are The Apparition and Premium Rush. One's a ghost story, and the other is about a Manhattan bike messenger. Guess which one is which? Perhaps more importantly, arrive early to any movie you plan on seeing this weekend. After a forgettable 2011, box office receipts are clocking in sharply higher this year.



Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz does not own shares in any of the stocks in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of salesforce.com. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of salesforce.com. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended shorting salesforce.com.


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