First up, Autodesk says that most new commercial seats of standalone software will be sold via subscription beginning on February 1, 2016. From the company’s perspective, this move creates revenue stability and visibility, simplifies updates, and makes it easier to inform users of new features. Customers will benefit from the lower cost of entry and the added flexibility of time-based licenses because they can turn them on and off to suit usage patterns. A bit more tenuous is the benefit to the reseller partners, who have to reconfigure their businesses to deal with a (potentially) unchanged cost of sales upfront, with lower initial payment but a much longer revenue tail over time. We all saw this coming, right? So now we have a timetable. A couple of details: Autodesk says customers who buy perpetual licenses before February 1, 2016 will be able to continue to use those licenses.
Next, ANSYS announced that it has acquired the assets of Newmerical Technologies International (NTI), a developer of FENSAP-ICE icing simulation software and associated design, testing and certification services. I’m not up on de-icing but have seen enough presentations at CFD-focused events to know that it is gnarly, gnarly physics, since it needs to simulate the fluids, the structures as well as thermal variations. ANSYS says that the US Federal Aviation Administration introduced rules for icing standards that changed the certification process for aircraft original equipment manufacturers, engine manufacturers and systems suppliers — hence the great opportunity for NTI and ANSYS. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Finally, earnings continue to roll. Stratasys announced preliminary results for 2014 and forecasts for 2015 that were well below expectations. For 2014, the company expects to report revenue in the range of around $750 million (versus prior guidance of $750 million to$760 million), and a GAAP net loss of around $120 million, due in large part to a goodwill impairment charge of around $100 million for its MakerBot unit.
Stratasys says that Q4 revenue, in total, grew about 38% year/year, including organic revenue growth of 25%. But, and it’s the but that has investors so worried, Q4 saw slower growth of MakerBot product and services revenue — up only 7% y/y. The company says that MakerBot ran into difficulties with the introduction and scaling of its new product platform and its rapidly evolving distribution model.
For 2015, Stratasys estimates total revenue of about $950 million. More to come on this when there’s a bit of time.
Dassault Systèmes reports Q4 2014 results tomorrow, followed by Hexagon on Friday. And, for those of you who asked: at least it’s not (right at this very moment) snowing here in Boston.