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Stock Strategist

A Wide-Moat Firm That Thrives on Complexity

Autodesk has been affected by the economy but should prosper long term.

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It is now clear that the global economy is in the midst of a difficult and uncertain period, and nobody truly knows how long it will last. Although the notion of an economic recovery seems almost unimaginable in light of the current flurry of depressing financial news, at some point economic conditions are bound to improve. Therefore, we think this is a good time for long-term investors to focus on a certain software company that possesses what we call a wide economic moat, or a superb competitive advantage:  Autodesk (ADSK).

Autodesk creates and commercializes a wide range of computer-aided design (CAD) solutions. In a nutshell, the firm's applications enable its clients, which range from single-person firms to large multinational corporations, to digitally create, analyze, and manage product and project designs. The value behind Autodesk's applications is simple: Clients save money by creating better, faster, and cheaper products. Although many people still think of Autodesk's applications as being limited to designing cars and bulky machinery, a host of new industries have embraced the benefits of digital design. Nowadays, organizations around the world employ Autodesk's software to design anything from golf clubs to artery stents to skyscrapers.

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Rafael Garcia does not own shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.