Stock Market News for August 28, 2019 (Updated)

The stock market was solidly higher by early afternoon Wednesday, following a volatile morning. At 4:25 p.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) was up 1%, the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) had gained 0.65%,, and the Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQINDEX: ^IXIC) was 0.38% higher.

These broad stock market gains didn't help Autodesk (NASDAQ: ADSK), which slashed its guidance due to economic uncertainty. Meanwhile, Fitbit (NYSE: FIT) stock surged thanks to new product announcements.

Autodesk cuts its guidance

Shares of Autodesk were down 8% by early afternoon Wednesday after the 3D design software provider tarnished its solid second-quarter report with a guidance cut. The company isn't currently being affected by trade tensions, but it's nonetheless adopting a conservative outlook for the rest of the year.

Autodesk software on a laptop.

Image source: Autodesk.

Autodesk's second-quarter revenue rose 30% year over year to $797 million, with recurring revenue accounting for 96% of the total. That revenue figure beat the average analyst estimate by $8.8 million.

The bottom line also soared, with Autodesk reporting non-GAAP (adjusted) earnings per share of $0.65, more than tripling from the prior-year period. Autodesk's transition to subscriptions over the past few years hurt both revenue and profit as up-front sales were replaced with subscription fees. Now that that transition is largely complete, earnings are recovering.

The good news Autodesk delivered in its second-quarter report was overshadowed by a weak outlook. The company now expects full-year revenue between $3.24 billion and $3.27 billion, and adjusted EPS between $2.69 and $2.81. Previously, the company had guided for revenue between $3.25 billion and $3.30 billion, and adjusted EPS between $2.71 and $2.90.

Autodesk's new guidance still calls for revenue growth as high as 27% this year, but the company's cautiousness has put a chill on the stock.

Fitbit unveils new devices and services

Fitbit stock was up about 5% early Wednesday afternoon after the struggling fitness tracker and smartwatch company announced new devices and a subscription service ahead of the all-important holiday season.

Fitbit will launch the new Versa 2 smartwatch, the successor to the popular Versa, on September 15. The Versa 2 carries the same $200 price tag as the Versa, but features improved performance, a larger screen, and support for the Amazon Alexa voice assistant. The original Versa was Fitbit's most successful smartwatch, with the company's other efforts largely falling flat.

In addition to the Versa 2, Fitbit announced the Aria Air, a new Bluetooth smart scale. The Aria Air, as well as Fitbit's trackers and smartwatches, will integrate with Fitbit Premium, a subscription service set to roll out in September. Fitbit Premium will cost $9.99 per month, and provide users with guided health and fitness programs, advanced sleep features, access to video and audio workouts, as well as other features.

Fitbit's future depends on generating revenue from its user base independent of device sales. This new subscription service could be just the ticket.

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John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Timothy Green has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon and Fitbit. The Motley Fool recommends Autodesk. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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