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Autodesk Inc. (ADSK - Analyst Report) has agreed to acquire Micro Application Packages Ltd. (MAP Software), provider of computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) and estimating software that lends support to the mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) industry. Terms and transactional details of the deal were not disclosed.

U.K.-based Micro Application is a significant addition to Autodesk’s Building Information System (BIM). Additionally, Micro Application software would develop and enhance its model-based design workflows among MEP contractors, engineers, designers and fabricators who provide the designs, detailing, estimating and manufacturing services for MEP systems.

Moreover, Micro Application’s software would integrate Autodesk’s present portfolio of AutoCAD, AutoCAD MEP and Autodesk Revit MEP project lifecycle workflows.

Recent Acquisitions

Autodesk has been aggressively acquiring companies and technological assets, which are integral to its core business. We expect the company to continue to leverage its merger and acquisition (M&A) strategy to expand its product portfolio globally.

In early August, Autodesk acquired San Francisco-based Instructables, a popular online community for people seeking to discover, share and be inspired by DIY (Do-It-Yourself) project ideas. In July 2011, Autodesk completed the acquisition of Pixlr, a popular free online service for social image creating, collecting, editing and sharing.

Also recently, the company acquired certain technology assets from Koblenz, Germany-based Numenus GmbH. Numenus’ technology is efficient in creating life-like images by directly using NURBS (nonuniform rational B-splines) data. NURBS is a mathematical representation of 2D or 3D objects, which can be of standard shapes (such as a cone) or free-form shapes (such as a car).

NURBS are used in computer graphics and the CAD/CAM industry and usage of NURBs is considered as a standard system of creating and representing complex objects. With the help of Numenus technology, Autodesk users will find it easier to visualize surfaces accurately, thereby saving time for preparing quality visualization data.

Recommendation

Autodesk is expected to introduce a collection of new web-based services in late third quarter. These acquisitions particularly of the web-based communities will boost the company’s cloud offerings going forward, in our view.

However, increasing competition from Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE - Analyst Report), Parametric Technology Corp. and Avid Technology Inc. remains a headwind.

We have a Neutral recommendation on Autodesk shares in the long term. Currently, Autodesk has a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term (1-3 months) Hold rating.

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