Autodesk shares fall on trade war concerns, but CEO says there's still growth in China

Key Points
  • Autodesk lowers its full-year guidance due to concerns around the U.S.-China trade war.
  • The stock plunges after the company warned that "current trade tensions" could weigh on its financials.
Autodesk CEO Andrew Anagnost on earnings and growth
Autodesk CEO Andrew Anagnost on earnings and growth

Shares of Autodesk slid 6.7% on Wednesday after the software company said the U.S.-China trade war could negatively impact its financials.

Autodesk beat expectations on the top and bottom lines in its fiscal second-quarter results, but cited concerns around the trade war as the reason for its conservative guidance.

"While we continue to execute well and are not materially impacted by current trade tensions and macro uncertainty, we are taking a prudent stance to our second half fiscal 2020 outlook," Autodesk CFO Scott Herren said in a statement.

Herren reiterated on the company's earnings call that trade disputes and the broader geopolitical environment were to blame for the adjusted guidance and that it "now reflects our current views based on what we know about the environment today."

In an interview on CNBC's "Squawk Alley," Autodesk CEO Andrew Anagnost acknowledged the trade war played a part in the company's decision to issue softer guidance.

"We actually still grew in China significantly, but we're just not growing to the same level of expectations that we had at the beginning of the year," Anagnost said. "So yeah, there was an effect. It had a modest effect on our business."

The company lowered its fiscal 2020 revenue guidance to a range of $3.43 billion to $3.49 billion, down from its previous estimates of $3.5 billion to $3.55 billion. Its fiscal third-quarter estimates also missed projections, with the company expecting earnings of 70 cents to 74 cents per share on revenue of $820 million to $830 million vs. analysts' expectations of 77 cents and $838.8 million.

For the fiscal second quarter ended July 31, Autodesk reported earnings of 65 cents per share on revenue of $797 million, which beat analysts' projections for earnings of 61 cents per share and $787 million in revenue.

Autodesk isn't the only one feeling the impacts of the trade war. Trade tensions have dragged down the broader market over the past month, causing some economists to warn of a looming recession. Elsewhere in the tech space, Apple and semiconductor stocks have fallen after President Donald Trump said U.S. companies should "immediately start looking for an alternative" to their operations in China.