(ADSK) New Cloud Offerings from Autodesk

Autodesk Inc. (ADSK) has unveiled a collection of more than a dozen Web-based capabilities, products and services, named Autodesk Cloud. By using Autodesk Cloud, Autodesk customers will be able to store their work and gain access to the related designs and engineering documents through web browsers and mobile devices.

Cloud applications like Autodesk Cloud documents, AutoCAD WS and Autodesk Design Review mobile app will enable users to work and view, edit and share designs from anywhere through any web-enabled device, thereby eliminating the location problem. Additionally, AutoCAD WS and the Autodesk Design Review mobile app are also available on the iOS App Store.

Designers, engineers and digital artists who have Autodesk subscriptions are provided with sophisticated new features, such as high-performance 3D visual communication, simulation and collaboration to name a few.

Autodesk had started its cloud based applications for the design industry with Autodesk Buzzsaw, and has now strengthened the domain with this latest Autodesk Cloud.

Recently Autodesk has been on an acquisition spree and these acquisitions particularly of the web-based communities will boost the company’s cloud offerings going forward, in our view.

The acquisition is a reflection of Autodesk’s strategy of expanding its digital prototyping solutions, which is expected to cater to manufacturers of all sizes, enhancing their ability to design, visualize and simulate their products before they are built.

Autodesk has been aggressively acquiring companies and technological assets, which are integral to its core business. We expect the company to continue to leverage its merger and acquisition (M&A) strategy to expand its product portfolio globally.

In our view, the company’s improvements and innovations in 3D design technology and product portfolio provides a competitive edge. Moreover, Autodesk’s expanding product portfolio and broadening industry and geographic reach will help it sustain its longer-term growth strategy of providing high-volume, lower-cost CAD software. We believe this will likely drive earnings going forward.

However, foreign exchange fluctuations and competition from Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE), Parametric Technology Corp. (PMTC) and Avid Technology Inc. (AVID) remain headwinds.

We have a Neutral recommendation on Autodesk’s shares in the long term.

Currently, Autodesk has a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term (1-3 months) Hold rating.

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