DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
Autodesk Inc.'s (ADSK) fiscal third-quarter profit jumped 82% as revenue rose and margins surged.
But shares slumped 4.7% to $34.55 in recent after-hours trading as the company forecast a fourth-quarter profit of 30 cents to 33 cents a share on $500 million to $520 million in revenue. Analysts had forecast 34 cents and $502 million, respectively.
The maker of the popular AutoCAD design software used by engineers and architects has seen sales pick up in recent quarters, reversing a previous trend of declines amid the global downturn. Recent architecture billings and other data suggest a positive demand environment for its software licenses this year, according to a Jefferies note this week.
For the quarter ended Oct. 31, Autodesk reported a profit of $53.6 million, or 23 cents a share, up from $29.5 million, or 13 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding items such as stock-based compensation, earnings rose to 32 cents from 26 cents. Revenue jumped 14% to $476.7 million, following last year's 31% plunge.
In August, the comany forecast earnings of 28 cents to 33 cents on $450 million to $475 million in revenue.
Operating margin surged to 14.5% from 6.3% amid higher revenue and lower stock-based compensation expenses and the absence of restructuring charges in the latest quarter.
-By Matt Jarzemsky, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2240; firstname.lastname@example.org