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Autodesk's Renewal Rates Soar as Customers Embrace Digital Transformation

Growing adoption and strong renewal rates are key factors driving the financial performance of Autodesk Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK) in the second quarter of 2024. Despite a challenging macroeconomic environment, the company has seen positive momentum in its business, with a strong cohort of enterprise business agreements renewing earlier than expected.

The early renewal of EBAs indicates that customers are using Autodesk's products more than anticipated and are satisfied with the breadth of the company's portfolio. This trend is particularly significant as these contracts were originally signed three years ago, at the start of the pandemic when usage might have been lower due to the uncertain business environment. As the world emerges from the pandemic, usage of Autodesk's products is increasing, which is seen as a positive sign for the company's future growth.

Autodesk's strong adoption and renewal rates are reflected in its financial performance. In the second quarter, total revenue grew by 9% and 12% in constant currency. Revenue growth was driven by strong performance across different product segments, with AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT revenue growing by 9%, AEC revenue growing by 14%, Manufacturing revenue growing by 9% and M&E revenue growing by 10%. The company also experienced revenue growth in all regions, with the Americas growing by 15%, Europe, the Middle East and Africa growing by 11% and Asia Pacific growing by 6%.

Furthermore, Autodesk's direct revenue increased by 18% and represented 37% of total revenue, benefiting from strong growth in both EBAs and the eStore. The net revenue retention rate remained within the 100% to 110% range, indicating strong customer loyalty and the ability to retain and upsell existing customers.

The company's transition from upfront to annual billings for multiyear contracts is proceeding as expected. While this transition creates a headwind to free cash flow in fiscal year 2024, it also provides more opportunities for Autodesk to drive adoption and upsell to customers. Annual renewals allow the company to unlock additional revenue potential and are without the price lock-in associated with multiyear contracts.

Looking ahead, Autodesk is optimistic about its future performance. The company has raised the lower end of its guidance range for fiscal year 2024, reflecting the sustained momentum in the business and the early expansion of some EBAs. The company expects revenue to be between $5.41 billion and $5.46 billion, non-GAAP operating margins to be similar to fiscal year 2023 levels and free cash flow to be between $1.17 billion and $1.25 billion.

Digital transformation

In today's rapidly evolving business landscape, companies across various industries are recognizing the importance of digital transformation. The ability to leverage technology to streamline processes, increase efficiency and drive sustainability has become a key differentiator for businesses looking to stay competitive. One company that is leading the way in end-to-end digital transformation for its customers is Autodesk.

Autodesk, a global leader in design and engineering software, is focused on transforming the industries it serves with its cloud-based solutions. The company's strategy is centered around providing end-to-end solutions that connect and optimize previously siloed workflows through the cloud. By doing so, Autodesk aims to drive efficiency and sustainability for its customers.

One area where Autodesk has seen significant growth is in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry. Customers in this sector are consolidating on its solutions to connect and optimize their workflows through the cloud. This digital momentum is expected to accelerate with infrastructure investment programs like the U.S. Advanced Digital Construction Management System program, which launched during the second quarter.

Autodesk's focus on end-to-end digital transformation is not limited to the AEC industry. The company is also making strides in the manufacturing sector. Customers in this industry are investing in their digital transformations and consolidating on Autodesk's Design and Make platform to grow their businesses and make them more resilient. By connecting workflows across the AEC and manufacturing industries, the company enables a collaborative and data-driven approach that minimizes clashes and rework, resulting in more efficient and successful building projects.

To further support its customers' digital transformations, Autodesk offers a range of tools and technologies. One example is Autodesk Docs, a common data environment that allows for seamless collaboration and increased operational efficiency. Additionally, Autodesk's XR and asset management capabilities enable customers to enhance their design portfolios and unlock breakthrough productivity gains.

Architecture, engineering and construction sector growth

One area where Autodesk is seeing significant growth is in the architecture, engineering and construction sector. Customers in this industry are consolidating on Autodesk's solutions to enhance operational efficiency, improve security and establish a single point of truth for their project data. By leveraging Autodesk's cloud-based tools such as Autodesk Docs, Forma, XR and asset management capabilities, companies like Cannon Design are driving their digital transformation and achieving breakthrough productivity gains.

Autodesk's construction platform is also benefiting from its strong international presence and established channel partner network. Property developers and transit network operators in Asia are leveraging Autodesk Construction Cloud to simplify operations across multiple infrastructure projects with various contractors and subcontractors. By standardizing on one platform, these companies gain visibility into workflows and unlock productivity gains.

In the manufacturing sector, Autodesk's Design and Make platform is helping multinational manufacturers connect workflows across the AEC and manufacturing industries. By adopting a collaborative and data-driven approach, these manufacturers are minimizing clashes and rework, resulting in more efficient and successful building projects. Additionally, Autodesk's Fusion platform is providing an easy entry point into the company's cloud ecosystem, enabling customers to connect more workflows and drive efficiency, sustainability and resilience.


Overall, Autodesk's focus on end-to-end digital transformation for its customers is driving growth and innovation across industries. By providing cloud-based solutions, seamless collaboration and advanced technologies, Autodesk is empowering companies to increase efficiency, sustainability and resilience. As the business landscape continues to evolve, Autodesk remains at the forefront of enabling digital transformation.

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This article first appeared on GuruFocus.