Autodesk ( ADSK) easily beat fourth-quarter earnings estimates on solid sales of its architecture and design software. The company also said it is buying building-design software maker Revit Technology for $133 million cash.

San Raphael, Calif.,-based Autodesk earned $37 million, or 65 cents a share, before items in the quarter ended Jan. 31, compared with $32 million, or 57 cents, a year ago. Revenue rose to $254 million from $243 million. The consensus analyst estimate was for earnings of 55 cents a share on revenues of $253.5 million, according to First Call.

The company said sales of its design software, which includes its manufacturing, building industry and geographic information products, rose 24% sequentially to $224 million in the quarter. Sales of AutoCAD upgrades totaled $84 million.

For the current first quarter, Autodesk expects to earn 40 cents to 50 cents a share on revenues of $240 million to $250 million. Analysts had been expecting earnings of 52 cents a share on revenue of $245 million. For fiscal 2003, the company expects to earn $2.20 to $2.30 a share on revenues of $1.025 billion to $1.045 billion. Analysts had been expecting earnings of $2.16 a share on revenues of $1.025 billion. The company said the 2003 earnings estimate included 10 cents to 12 cents of dilution from the Revit acquisition.

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