Autodesk Q4 revenue better than expected, reports a net loss

Feb 25, 2016 | Hot Topics

Autodesk just announced Q4 results and, as with ANSYS, we’re going to do a quick preview while we await the conference call.

Total revenue for the quarter was $648 million, down 2% as reported but up a nice 3% in constant currencies over last year’s Q4 — and above the top end of the company’s earlier guidance. There are a lot of ways to slice and dice this, but perhaps the most important is the number of subscribers. Autodesk says that in Q4 total subscriptions increased by 109,000 from Q3 to total 2.58 million in Q4. What the company calls “new model subscriptions” of its desktop, enterprise and cloud offerings grew by 62,000 from Q3 for a total of 427,000.

Those are big deals. Autodesk had set ambitious goals to grow the number of subscribers by the end of Fiscal 2016 (ended last month) — 2.6 million is right about on target.

It wasn’t all rosy, though. The company reported a net loss for the quarter of $33 million, slightly bigger than some had expected.

Revenue for fiscal 2016 was $2,504 million, down 1% as reported.

CEO Carl Bass said in prepared remarks that Autodesk “had a terrific fourth quarter and our results demonstrate that our business model transition is working. Broad-based demand also led to better than expected subscription additions in the fourth quarter with new model offerings representing well over half of the subscriptions … We booked a record number of large transactions. As planned, we ended sales of perpetual licenses of individual products at the end of the quarter. We were particularly encouraged that only a small portion of total unit volume was related to this final opportunity to purchase these perpetual licenses.”

Autodesk also set guidance for fiscal 2017. Q1 revenue should be between $500 million and $520 million, with FY17 revenue of $1,950 million to $2,050 million. Both are down quite a bit as reported when compared to the same period in fiscal 2016 due to the switch to an all-subscription licensing model.

Lots more details to come.