Top software makers still have appeal

Article Excerpt

Our recommendations in software stocks have delivered huge gains in the past few years. But many now face growing competition from free software on the Internet, or they trade at high p/e’s. Computer makers are also demanding lower prices for pre-installed programs to keep the costs of new computers down. We still hold a high opinion of these top software makers, but we advise against new buying right now. AUTODESK INC. $38 (Nasdaq symbol ADSK; WSSF Rating: Average) makes AutoCAD, the world’s top selling computer aided design program. About 4 million architects and engineers in over 100 countries use it to design and test new buildings and products. This business supplies nearly 90% of its revenue. The remainder comes from programs that filmmakers use to create special effects. In its fourth fiscal quarter ended January 31, 2006, Autodesk earned $0.33 a share (total $83.0 million), up 26.9% from $0.26 a share ($65.8 million) a year earlier. If you disregard restructuring costs and other…

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