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Autodesk warns of lower revenue

Blaming the economic slump, the drafting and design software company says it won't meet the revenue estimates it previously announced.

Drafting and design software company Autodesk announced preliminary third-quarter financial results Monday that fell below estimates, which it blamed on overall economic weakness.

The San Rafael, Calif.-based company said in a statement that revenue for the quarter, which ended Oct. 31, will be between $186 million and $190 million, compared with previous estimates of $200 million to $210 million.

Excluding restructuring charges estimated at $14 million, earnings will be 4 or 5 cents a share, the company said. The company earlier had set a range of 5 to 10 cents per share, and analysts polled by research firm First Call had predicted an average of 6 cents per share.

Autodesk CEO Carol Bartz said in the statement that the company continues to suffer as a result of the global economic conditions that have hit many of the industries Autodesk serves, from construction to manufacturing.

"We faced an exceptionally difficult business environment this past quarter across all of our product lines and geographies," she said. "We are continuing to do well against our competition, but customers are delaying investments due to the weak global economies."

Bartz said in August that Autodesk would lay off about 7 percent of its workforce--then at 3,600--by the end of the year. The company had already imposed pay cuts for executives and other cost-cutting measures.

Bartz said in Monday's announcement that further cost-cutting measures will be necessary during the current fourth quarter.

Autodesk is scheduled to report third-quarter results Nov. 21.