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Autodesk Overstates FY22 Adjusted Net Income by $26 Million

Construction software firm excludes acquisition costs despite being a serial acquirer.

March 15, 2022

Like it has in prior years, Autodesk (ADSK), a maker of software for the engineering and construction industries, is overstating FY22 adjusted net income by $26 million. Though it’s commonplace to eliminate inconvenient items from net income, investors relying on Autodesk’s non-GAAP calculation— especially for FY22 results— are getting a misleading picture of the company’s financial performance.

Autodesk would likely argue that it uses metrics like adjusted net income to eliminate the effect of items it does not consider indicative of core operating performance on a consistent basis. However, we believe it’s inappropriate to exclude acquisition costs as acquisitions are a key pillar of Autodesk’s growth strategy.

In its latest 10-K, Autodesk adjusted FY22 net income, in part, by excluding acquisition related expenses totaling $26 million, or 4.2% of operating income. Similarly, in FY21 Autodesk excluded acquisition related expenses equivalent to 2.3% of operating income. In FY20, Autodesk excluded acquisition related expenses equivalent to 6.8% of operating income.

Cumulatively, Autodesk has overstated adjusted net income by a total of $63.9 million in the last three years. Excluding deal costs when making deals is a key part of the growth strategy is disingenuous. Autodesk is a serial acquirer— it has made six significant acquisitions in the last three years. These costs are not unusual. They’re recurring and part of Autodesk’s business model.

Autodesk certainly doesn’t exclude revenue generated from acquired companies. Investors should not allow the company to exclude the recurring costs of acquiring those sales.


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