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Autodesk Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK) is scheduled to announce its third quarter 2012 results on November 15, 2011 after the closing bell. We do not see any major variation in analysts’ estimates in the run-up to the earnings release.

Prior-Quarter Recap

Autodesk reported strong results, spurred strong by year-over-year growth in revenues, which was driven by higher license and other revenues. Moreover, maintenance revenues were also up on a year over year basis.

Autodesk witnessed significant upside across all of its geographical regions. Revenues in America jumped 13.0% year over year to $191.0 million. Revenues from emerging economies remained strong.

Third Quarter 2012 & Fiscal 2012 Estimates

For the third quarter of 2012, Autodesk expects revenues in the range of $535.0 million to $550.0 million. The Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at $544.0 million.

The GAAP EPS is expected in the range of 25 cents to 29 cents. Non-GAAP EPS is expected in the 38 cents to 42 cents range. The Zacks Consensus Estimate is currently pegged at 34 cents per share, which is below the guided range.

For fiscal 2012, Autodesk expects revenues to increase 13.0% year over year. Non-GAAP operating margin is expected to increase 200 bps on a year-over-year basis. The company did not provide any EPS guidance for fiscal 2012. The current Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at $1.38 per share for fiscal 2012.

Estimate Revision Trend

None of the six analysts covering the stock revised their estimates in the last 30 days. Hence, the EPS estimate for the third quarter of 2012 remained at 34 cents.

For fiscal year 2012, two negative revisions were witnessed in the last 30 days, although the EPS estimate for fiscal 2012 remained at $1.38.

Most of the analysts covering the stock are optimistic about the company’s market share gains and presence in emerging markets, which will likely drive the top-line going forward.

During the reported quarter, revenues from emerging economies represented 16.0% of the total revenue and compared favorably on a year-over-year basis. The analysts also expect significant earnings growth for 2012 on the back of accelerating license revenue, maintenance and renewal rates.

However, some analysts are cautious about the high exposure of the company in Europe, citing the recent gloomy macro-economic environment in the region.

Conclusion

Autodesk posted a positive average earnings surprise of 3.09% in the trailing four quarters, implying that on average, the company exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate over the period. Given the upward trend in positive surprises, the improving product line and growth prospects, we expect the company to post another positive surprise in the upcoming quarter.

In our view, the company’s improvements and innovations in 3D-design technology and product portfolio provide a competitive edge. Moreover, Autodesk’s expanding product portfolio and broadening industry and geographic reach will help it sustain its longer-term growth strategy of providing high-volume, lower-cost CAD software. We believe this will likely drive earnings going forward. Moreover, the acquisitions that are being made in the field of CAD and gaming middleware sections will provide the company with long term opportunities, particularly in the web-based communities that will likely boost the company’s cloud offerings going forward.

However, foreign exchange fluctuations and competition from Adobe Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:ADBE) and Parametric Technology Corp. (PMTC) remain headwinds.

We have a Neutral recommendation on Autodesk’s shares in the long term.

Currently, Autodesk has a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term (1-3 months) Hold rating.

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Source: Autodesk: Earnings Preview