August 13, 2009 / 9:04 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 2-Autodesk raises cost-cut target, shares firm

* Q2 adj-EPS 24 cents vs Street view 19 cents

* Q2 revenue $414.9 mln vs Street view $412.81

* Sees Q3 adj-EPS of 18-23 cts vs Street view 20 cts

* Sees Q3 rev of $400-$420 mln vs Street view $417.39 mln (Adds CEO’s comments, details on forecast, updates shares)

By Clare Baldwin

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Autodesk Inc (ADSK.O), the maker of design software AutoCAD, raised its cost-cut targets for fiscal 2010 by one-fifth after posting stronger-than-expected quarterly results, boosting its stock.

Autodesk, whose competitors include Adobe Systems Inc (ADBE.O), Dassault Systemes SA (DAST.PA) and Parametric Technology Corp PMTC.O, said cost cuts in the first half of fiscal 2010 had been successful.

On Thursday, it raised its fiscal 2010 pretax cost-cutting target by 20 percent to $300 million from $250 million.

Executives said about 80 percent of the cuts were permanent and about 20 percent would be temporary “cost suppression” measures, including salary reductions and travel cuts.

Job cuts are “totally done,” Chief Executive Carl Bass said in an interview with Reuters.

Bass said Autodesk is seeing the bottom of the downturn and that the company’s recovery depends on its customers putting people back to work and securing additional credit.

He said that stimulus money for infrastructure projects from countries including the United States, Germany and China could also spur additional growth over the next 1 to 2 years.

AutoCAD is widely used by architects, engineers and others in the construction, manufacturing and engineering sectors to model two-dimensional and three-dimensional graphics.

The company on Thursday forecast third-quarter adjusted earnings of 18 cents to 23 cents per share, in line with analysts’ average estimate of a 20 cent profit, according to Reuters Estimates.

Autodesk forecast third-quarter revenue between $400 million and $420 million, in line with estimates of $417.39 million.

Autodesk reported a net profit in the second quarter ended July 31 of $10.5 million, or 5 cents a share.

That is down sharply from a profit of $89.8 million, or 39 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, Autodesk posted a profit of 24 cents per share, compared with 56 cents per share a year earlier, and ahead of the 19 cents forecast analysts, according to Reuters Estimates.

Revenue fell 33 percent from a year earlier to $414.9 million from $619.5 million, but beat expectations for $412.81 million by a touch, according to Reuters Estimates.

Shares of San Rafael, California-based Autodesk rose 0.8 percent to $24.39 after closing down 2.1 percent at $24.20 on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Clare Baldwin; Editing by Richard Chang, Gary Hill)

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