Dassault Systemes (DASTY) is trading down nearly 6% after the company trimmed its earnings outlook by five Eurocents last week. The company now expects to earn between €1.96 and €2.00 in 2007, compared with earlier guidance of €2.00 - €2.05. With a solid overall business and a valuation that I believe looks reasonable, I think investors will ultimately find today's price to have been an excellent entry point.
Dassault designs engineering software used for Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) (81% of 2006 revenue) and Mainstream 3-D design (19%). It has grown through organic growth and a series of acquisitions, including Abaqus in 2005 and MatrixOne in 2006 – each of which was in the order of $500 million consideration. It is 44.5% owned and effectively controlled by France's Groupe Industriel Marcel Dassault.
Dassault offers software under several brands, including Solidworks for Mainstream 3D design and CATIA, DELMIA, SIMULIA and ENOVIA for PLM. However, a key aspect of its growth strategy is to combine the strengths of its various programs and allow customers to customize solutions using the company's V5 platform.
The company generates 47% of its revenue in Europe, 31% in the Americas and the remainder in Asia. Although it blamed the lowered outlook on the weak dollar, the company's latest annual report said its greatest currency exposures are between the Euro (its reporting currency) and the Yen, Pound and Korean Won.
More than half of the company's sales are on a recurring (software rental or maintenance contract) basis rather than through perpetual license fees. With a largely industrial customer base, revenue growth drivers include business investment and industrial production in its end markets.
Dassault lists its primary PLM competitors as Parametric (PMTC) and Unigraphics, which was recently acquired by Siemens (SI). Its main competitor in Mainstream 3D is Autodesk (ADSK).