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Oppenheimer Cuts Autodesk to Neutral from Buy


Oppenheimer downgraded Autodesk (ADSK) to neutral from buy, citing the software company's third quarter results.

Analyst Sasa Zorovic says that the company's third quarter revenue of $378 million was ahead of guidance, but below his $384 million estimate. He says recent talks with resellers, though mixed, indicate demand for the company's products may be cooling off. While he expects continued improving operating leverage, Autodesk is trading at a premium to its strong position in the market, and he believes the stock is unlikely to trade above its recent range of 30 times to 32 times forward earnings per share over the medium term. He sees $1.25 fiscal year 2006 (ending January) earnings per share; he cut his $1.54 fiscal year 2007 earnings per share estimate to $1.50 and his $1.86 fiscal year 2008 estimate to $1.76.


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