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Autodesk beats the Street

The computer-aided design software maker's second-quarter earnings and revenues soar past analysts estimates.

With the successful release of AutoCAD Release 14, the latest version of its flagship product, Autodesk (ADSK) saw its second-quarter earnings and revenues soar past analysts estimates.

The computer-aided design and multimedia software maker reported net income of $17.8 million, or 34 cents per share, for the quarter ending July 31, compared with net income of $10.6 million, or 22 cents per share, a year ago.

Wall Street had expected net income of 30 cents per share for the quarter, according to FirstCall.

AutoDesk's revenues were up to $154.1 million in the quarter from $128.7 million a year ago.

In addition to the AutoCAD 14 release, the company cited its product diversification efforts for its improved performance.

"Our diversification strategy--delivering multiple market-specific products--is in full swing and we are seeing the results of executing on that plan," said AutoDesk chairman and CEO Carol Bartz in a statement.

John Rossi, an analyst with Robertson Stephens & Company, also stressed the importance of the diversification strategy.

"Unless they diversify more, we're going to find ourselves on the other side of the roller-coaster," he warned. Diversification into new markets can smooth out the product cycle so that dips will not be as deep.

Rossi had praise for the company overall.

"It was a good quarter. The company came in above expectations, they have a confident tone about the rest of the year. The launch of Release 14 was extremely strong with good [sales into its channel], and lean channel inventory--which bodes well for the current quarter."