While the company’s gross revenue remained above US$2 billion, the figure illustrates a year-on-year decline of US$473 million. For the full year, the company made a net loss of US$579.2 million, an increase of US$248.7 million in financial year 2016.
The company is undergoing a business model transition, where it has discontinued most new perpetual license sales in favour of subscriptions and flexible license arrangements. New maintenance agreement sales were discontinued for most individual products and also their suite products.
During the transition, revenue, margins, earnings per share (EPS), deferred revenue and cash flow from operations are impacted as more revenue is recognised rateably rather than up front and as new product offerings generally have a lower initial purchase price.
“We finished the fiscal year on a high note with triple-digit year-over-year growth in new model subscriptions and new model ARR, which demonstrates our customers’ readiness to adopt our new offerings,” said Amar Hanspal, Autodesk co-chief executive officer and chief product officer.
Moving from a licensed based model to one of subscription brings them in line with other software companies like Adobe. Subscription figures increased by 21 percent to 3.11 million during the 12 month reporting period.
The first quarter and full year fiscal 2018 outlook assume a projected annual effective tax rate of 11 percent and 26 percent for generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and non-GAAP results, respectively. Assumptions for the annual effective tax rate are regularly evaluated and may change based on the projected geographic mix of earnings. At this stage of the business model transition, small shifts in geographic profitability significantly impact the effective tax rate.
Forecasts for the coming year, in summary revenue are likely to be flat while subscription numbers increase by 600,000 to 650,000. For 2018, the company forecasts GAAP EPS of -US$2.65 to -US$2.40. "Record new model subscription additions and continued cost control contributed to our strong fourth quarter results," said Scott Herren, Autodesk chief financial officer. "We have invested in critical areas to fuel the transition and the long-term health of our business, while simultaneously reducing non-GAAP spending by three percent for the fiscal year.”
APMEN News, Mar 2017