Monday, February 27, 2012

Autodesk (ADSK) earnings-call transcript; comments about AEC

From the comments made by Carl Bass, Autodesk’s CEO:

Fourth quarter revenue was driven by growth across all of our major geographies, with particular strength in Americas. All of our businesses performed well, driven by demand for our suites. We achieved record results in several areas, and we made solid progress in advancing our operating margin and EPS.

There were several areas of notable growth and achievement during the quarter, including 12% growth in total revenue; 25% growth in total suites revenue; 18% growth in revenue from commercial new licenses; record revenue levels in AEC, Manufacturing and the Americas; record maintenance billings in deferred revenue; 360 basis point improvement in non- GAAP operating margin; 31% growth in non-GAAP EPS; and solid cash flow from operations.

We also continued to see our investment in the government vertical payoff. We won some high profile contracts with large federal and international agencies. We recently closed deals with the Brazil National Department of Transportation Infrastructure and the New Mexico Department of Transportation. In only 2 short years, we have won 6 state DOTs, and we believe that we can further expand our business in this sector.

So to wrap things up, the fourth quarter was another strong quarter, capping what was a terrific year of consistency and growth for Autodesk. We're confident in our ability to deliver continued double-digit growth in FY '13 as we focus on our 5- year targets of 12% to 14% revenue CAGR and operating margins of at least 30%. And finally, I want to thank our employees and partners for their outstanding efforts and essential role in delivering these great results.

From the analyst Q&A session:


Your next question comes from the line of Steve Ashley from Robert W. Baird.

Steven M. Ashley - Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, Research Division

I would just like to drill down on the AEC business. The assumption, I guess, is that the U.S. was probably very strong. But could you comment on how the AEC business was in Asia Pac and EMEA, and what your kind of outlook is for the business in those markets?

Carl Bass

Yes, it certainly was strong in the U.S., and we were seeing some form of recovery in the AEC market in the United States. We've really hit the tipping point with BIM or building information modeling. I mean, we've hit the point where there's huge amount of demand from owners. It's being mandated by government agencies. And as we've always talked about, the drivers -- to a large extent, the place where most of the money is spent is in the construction part of AEC. And what we've seen around the world definitely differential rates. But worldwide, we're seeing the adoption of BIM technology. And so for example, historically, Japan has been a laggard with respect to the adoption of technology. They've been primarily doing 2D technology in AEC. And just in the last year, we've seen the leading firms, the genecoms [ph] in Japan all adopt BIM technology. So that's a dramatic change that, again, like I talked about before, has a huge spillover effect for the entire industry. And I've said it before, say it again, it's no longer a question of if, but really of when people will be doing 3D modeling and simulation and visualization in AEC. And so I think we're just in the sweet spot of the adoption. Certainly, the macroeconomics in each of these countries affects it on a quarterly basis. But if you kind of stand back and squint, you can just see broad adoption of a new way of doing business.

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