May 25, 2024


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2 Software Stocks to Watch This Earnings Season

Famous venture capitalist Marc Andreessen said 10 years ago that software is eating the world. That trend has continued to this day, with software applications making up more and more of our daily lives. As investors, some of the best winners in your portfolio can be from finding mission-critical software stocks with huge and growing opportunities around the globe. 

Two stocks with these characteristics are (NASDAQ:WIX) and Autodesk (NASDAQ:ADSK). Here’s why you should put these stocks on your watchlist this earnings season

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Table of Contents

1. Wix

Wix is a software platform that offers businesses and individuals easy access to building an online presence. It started with a simple website builder but has since expanded to many different industries and tools to help its customers have a great online presence. It tries to offer website creation for every relevant industry but specifically focuses on verticals like restaurants, hotels, and fitness studios.

From a tools perspective, Wix offers customers easy email marketing, a payments solution called Wix Payments, order management, and many others to help people run their businesses easily. The company is going after a large market opportunity, which it estimates is $185 billion globally. Wix, being an Israeli company, has a presence in many markets around the world, with 42% of revenue coming from outside North America. 

Wix has a subscription business model where customers pay a monthly, annual, or multi-year fee to access a domain name and all its website-building tools. In the second quarter, Wix’s Creative Subscriptions segment, which includes everything but e-commerce, grew revenue 24% year over year to $236 million.

While this is strong growth, Wix’s Business Solutions segment, which includes the fast-growing Wix Payments, grew 75% year over year in Q2 to $80.5 million. This is a promising avenue of growth for Wix and shows it can compete with Shopify, the top e-commerce website builder in the world. 

Right now, Wix has a market cap of approximately $10.5 billion with guidance for around $1.3 billion in sales this fiscal year. This gives the stock a price-to-sales ratio (P/S) of 8.5. With its high gross margins of 62% that should expand as Business Solutions scales (right now the segment only has 22% gross margins) and such a large opportunity to go after around the world, Wix looks like a great business trading at a reasonable price.

2. Autodesk

Autodesk is a software company serving the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industries. Like Wix, it tries to offer software tools for all types of users within its core markets and offers access to these tools through monthly or annual subscriptions. The company is geographically diversified, with around 40% of its revenue coming from North America, 40% from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and 20% from Asia. 

In Q2, Autodesk’s revenue grew 16% year over year to $1.1 billion. This was driven by solid growth from its most popular products, Revit and AutoCAD, as well as the company’s other high-growth projects. AutoCAD revenue grew 12% year over year to $304.4 million in Q2, and the AEC segment, where Revit is categorized, grew sales 21% year over year to $478.7 million. These products should be steady cash cows for Autodesk, but the company is also trying to expand its portfolio to different parts of the industries it serves.

First, it has Fusion 360, a cloud-based mechanical and manufacturing design platform, which now has 165,000 paying subscribers around the world. Fusion 360 subscribers have grown at a 53% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the last three years. Billings have also grown at an astounding 107% CAGR over the same period, which shows the rapid adoption the platform is getting within the industry.

Another growth opportunity that is in an earlier stage than Fusion 360 is the Autodesk Construction Cloud (ACC), which offers tools for workers actually building the projects Revit and AutoCAD users are designing. The ACC only just fully launched in February, but through July its core product Autodesk Build has been used on 11,000 construction projects around the world.

Both Fusion 360 and the ACC are categorized in Autodesk’s Make segment, which grew revenue 26% year over year last quarter to $89.6 million. Investors should expect this segment to continue growing at a high rate over the next few years.

Autodesk’s market cap is $69 billion, which gives the stock a price-to-free-cash-flow (P/FCF) of 44 based on the high end of its guidance for this fiscal year. That is expensive, but the company is expecting free cash flow to inflect to $2.4 billion next fiscal year, which would bring the stock’s P/FCF down to 29, way closer to the average market multiple right now.

With the steady growth opportunity within its core design products and the high growth potential of Fusion 360 and the ACC, Autodesk looks like a perfect stock for software investors to put on their watchlist. 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.