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Autodesk Shares Plunge After Hours

The stock falls more than 9% following the company's forecast.
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said its third-quarter revenue climbed 26% from the previous year, and the design-software maker boosted its targets for the near term and for fiscal 2007.

Shareholders, however, didn't like what they saw as some of the company's projected numbers will fall short of estimates. Recently, Autodesk shares were down $4.52, or 9.6%, to $42.58 in extended trading.

The company's top line reached $378 million, up from $300 million in the third quarter a year ago. Autodesk earned $95 million, or 38 cents a share, vs. $74 million and 30 cents a share last year.

Before items, Autodesk had a profit of 31 cents a share, a penny better than Wall Street's consensus. Analysts had been calling for revenue of $377.1 million in the fiscal third quarter.

For the fourth quarter, Autodesk is expecting revenue of $405 million to $415 million and GAAP earnings of 34 cents to 36 cents a share. The consensus revenue estimate is $411.4 million.

The San Rafael, Calif., company projected first-quarter revenue of $400 million to $410 million and earnings, before items, of 31 cents to 33 cents a share. Estimates call for a profit of 34 cents a share and revenue of $413.1 million.

Autodesk says revenue for fiscal 2007 should increase 10% to 12% from the expected, and essentially in line with estimates, $1.51 billion to $1.52 billion targeted in fiscal 2006.

Before items, the company sees a profit of $1.41 to $1.45 a share for fiscal 2007. On average, analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call expect earnings of $1.45 a share.