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Autodesk misses lowered 2Q estimates, layoffs loom

Design software developer Autodesk Inc. (Nasdaq: ADSK) missed analysts' reduced estimates in its second quarter Thursday and announced it would layoff 10 percent of its workforce.

The San Rafael, Calif. company said it made only $400,000, or 1 cent a share, on sales of $202.9 million.

The stock closed up 2 11/16, or 12 percent, to 24 13/16 ahead of the earnings report.

First Call consensus expected it to earn 11 cents a share in the quarter.

Analysts had originally pegged it for a profit of 40 cents a share in the quarter, but Autodesk officials issued a profit warning in May, warning that customer-order delays would crimp total sales and profits in the quarter.

In the year-ago quarter, Autodesk raked in $29 million, or 49 cents a share, on sales of $226.8 million.

On a pro forma basis, it earned $5.7 million, or 9 cents a share, compared to $38.4 million, or 69 cents a share, in the second quarter of fiscal 1999.

"In light of our financial results, the actions announced today, while painful, are necessary to recalibrate the business and move forward with our strategic direction," said CEO Carol Bartz in a prepared release.

Following the profit warning, Autodesk shares went into a free fall, coming within a few points of its 52-week low of 21 5/8 established in October. In January, the stock was zipping along at a high of 49 7/16.

Seven of the 13 analysts watching the stock maintain a "hold" recommendation.

First Call consensus expects it to earn $1.20 a share in the fiscal year.