Autodesk Inc.: Revving Up Revenues

3-D software revenues drive growth.

A group of motor-sport professionals can thank computer-aided design software publisher Autodesk Inc. for helping them break the world stock car speed record over Fourth of July weekend in 2006. The team used the San Rafael, Calif.-based company's Inventor 3-D design product during the building process of the Ford Taurus that achieved the record-setting speed of 222.64 mph.

More importantly for Autodesk, Inventor along with other 3-D products contributed to all-time high third-quarter revenues of $457 million during fiscal 2007, a 21% increase over the year-earlier period, the company noted in a Nov. 16 statement. Revenues from the Inventor, Revit and Civil 3D brands increased 36% over third-quarter 2006 to $98 million. 3-D revenues comprised 22% of total revenues in the quarter.

The company also benefited from a revenue increase of 50% in its media and entertainment segment, including a $33 million rise in animation software, and a subscription revenue spike of 50%.

Autodesk Inc.
At A Glance


Autodesk Inc.
San Rafael, Calif.
Primary Industry: Publishing and printing
Number of employees: 4,813
2005 In Review
Revenue: $1.523 billion
Profit Margin: 21.59%
Sales Turnover: 1.12
Inventory Turnover: 12.78
Revenue Growth: 23.46%
Return On Assets: 28.80%
Return On Equity: 50.75%

For the fourth quarter, Autodesk -- one of IndustryWeek's IW 50 Best Manufacturers for 2006 -- expects revenues to be between $490 million and $500 million with spending for total costs and expenses to be approximately flat with the third quarter. The company forecasts full-year revenues to be between $1.832 billion and $1.842 billion.

Autodesk will not disclose its full financial performance for the quarter, including profits, until it completes a voluntary audit of its stock option grant policies, the company said.

Also on Nov. 16, the company said it had entered into an agreement with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to develop design technology for the building of environmentally friendly structures.

"Autodesk and USGBC share a belief that technology is the catalyst to widespread adoption of green building and reducing climate change," said Phil Bernstein, Autodesk vice president of building industry strategy and relations. "Through this partnership, we hope not only to make sustainable design easier but also to help the industry accelerate the implementation and practice of green building."

The partners will work on several initiatives to make sustainable design easier and more efficient through different technologies, including the Autodesk Revit platform for building information modeling. Autodesk and USGBC also will explore a partnership to provide consulting, joint development of new technology initiatives and industry education through USGBC's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating system to help the building industry meet carbon dioxide emissions reduction goals.

Meanwhile, shortly after he broke the world stock car speed record, Autodesk named Russ Wicks its Inventor of the Month for July 2006. Wicks, who claims on his Web site to be "the only living person to hold world speed records over 200 mph on land and water," used Autodesk Inventor 11 software to enhance the design, speed and stability of the car for the race across the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.

"Autodesk Inventor 11 allowed us to do advanced 3-D modeling, visualization and collaboration so that we could optimize designs before production even began," said Roger Gallington, chief engineer for Wicks' American Challenge team. "For example, we used Autodesk Inventor to create a one-of-a-kind custom spoiler, which had a huge impact on the aerodynamics of the car and helped make our car the fastest stock car in the world."


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