Design software company Autodesk (NASDAQ:ADSK) reported results in line with analyst expectations in Q2 FY2023 quarter, with revenue up 16.7% year on year to $1.23 billion. Guidance for the full year was in line with expectations with revenues guided to $5.01 billion at the midpoint. Autodesk made a GAAP profit of $186 million, improving on its profit of $115.6 million, in the same quarter last year.
Autodesk (ADSK) Q2 FY2023 Highlights:
- Revenue: $1.23 billion vs analyst estimates of $1.22 billion (0.99% beat)
- EPS (non-GAAP): $1.65 vs analyst estimates of $1.57 (4.96% beat)
- Revenue guidance for Q3 2023 is $1.28 billion at the midpoint, above analyst estimates of $1.26 billion
- The company reconfirmed revenue guidance for the full year, at $5.01 billion at the midpoint
- Free cash flow of $246 million, down 41.7% from previous quarter
- Gross Margin (GAAP): 90.3%, in line with same quarter last year
Founded in 1982 by John Walker and growing into one of the industry's behemoths, Autodesk (NASDAQ:ADSK) makes computer-aided design (CAD) software for engineering, construction, and architecture companies.
Autodesk is best known for its flagship software, AutoCAD, which is used to design buildings, cars, and bridges. Being the first CAD software to run on PC, AutoCAD by Autodesk accelerated the shift from paper-based engineering designs to digital designs. Paper-based designs were error-prone, difficult to keep up to date and made cooperation between teams hard. Autodesk and its collection of design tools have made these problems a thing of the past. AutoCAD not only makes edits easy but also allows designers and architects to create a library of components that can be reused later, making the design process much more efficient.
Today, even after 40 years, the software is still an essential go-to tool for a number of industries and its functionality has expanded far beyond its original scope, for example it comes with built-in tools that can analyze and remedy weaknesses in a building’s design. Autodesk also makes software for the entertainment and gaming industries. One of the tools, Maya, is a 3D animation software that is used to add special effects to video games and movies, and was essential in making movies such as Avatar, The Matrix, and Spider-Man.
The demand for rich, interactive 2D, 3D, VR and AR experiences is growing, and while the ubiquitous metaverse might still be more of a buzzword than a real thing, what is real is the demand for the tools to create these experiences, whether they are games or interactive movies.
It is worth highlighting the competition in the design software space, which includes players such as Dassault Systèmes (OTC:DASTY), Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE), Ansys (NASDAQ:ANSS), PTC (NASDAQ:PTC), and Bentley Systems (NASDAQ:BSY).
As you can see below, Autodesk's revenue growth has been decent over the last year, growing from quarterly revenue of $1.05 billion, to $1.23 billion.
This quarter, Autodesk's quarterly revenue was once again up 16.7% year on year. On top of that, revenue increased $67 million quarter on quarter, a strong improvement on the $41.6 million decrease in Q1 2023, and a sign of acceleration of growth, which is very nice to see indeed.
Guidance for the next quarter indicates Autodesk is expecting revenue to grow 13.9% year on year to $1.28 billion, slowing down from the 18.2% year-over-year increase in revenue the company had recorded in the same quarter last year. Ahead of the earnings results the analysts covering the company were estimating sales to grow 12.5% over the next twelve months.
What makes the software as a service business so attractive is that once the software is developed, it typically shouldn't cost much to provide it as an ongoing service to customers. Autodesk's gross profit margin, an important metric measuring how much money there is left after paying for servers, licenses, technical support and other necessary running expenses was at 90.3% in Q2.
That means that for every $1 in revenue the company had $0.90 left to spend on developing new products, marketing & sales and the general administrative overhead. This is a great gross margin, that allows companies like Autodesk to fund large investments in product and sales during periods of rapid growth and be profitable when they reach maturity. It is good to see that the gross margin is staying stable which indicates that Autodesk is doing a good job controlling costs and is not under pressure from competition to lower prices.
Cash Is King
If you follow StockStory for a while, you know that we put an emphasis on cash flow. Why, you ask? We believe that in the end cash is king, as you can't use accounting profits to pay the bills. Autodesk's free cash flow came in at $246 million in Q2, up 32.1% year on year.
Autodesk has generated $1.64 billion in free cash flow over the last twelve months, an impressive 34.5% of revenues. This robust FCF margin is a result of Autodesk asset lite business model, scale advantages, and strong competitive positioning, and provides it the option to return capital to shareholders while still having plenty of cash to invest in the business.
Key Takeaways from Autodesk's Q2 Results
Sporting a market capitalization of $46.4 billion, more than $1.52 billion in cash and with positive free cash flow over the last twelve months, we're confident that Autodesk has the resources it needs to pursue a high growth business strategy.
It was good to see Autodesk provide next quarter revenue outlook exceeding analysts’ expectations. We were also glad to see the strong free cash flow. On the other hand, revenue growth is overall a bit slower these days. Zooming out, we think this was a decent quarter, showing the company is staying on target. The company currently trades at $195 per share.
Is Now The Time?
When considering Autodesk, investors should take into account its valuation and business qualities, as well as what happened in the latest quarter. We think Autodesk is a good business. However, its revenue growth has been mediocre. But on a positive note, its impressive gross margins are indicative of excellent business economics, and its very efficient customer acquisition hints at the potential for strong profitability.
Autodesk's price to sales ratio based on the next twelve months is 8.8x, suggesting that the market is expecting more moderate growth, relative to the hottest tech stocks. There is definitely a lot of things to like about Autodesk and looking at the tech landscape right now, it seems that it doesn't trade at an unreasonable price point.The Wall St analysts covering the company had a one year price target of $253 per share right before these results, implying that they saw upside in buying Autodesk even in the short term.
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