Is construction headed for a rebound? Autodesk numbers give a good clue

Several years ago, when I was doing research for hedge funds, I spent a month talking to Autodesk (ADSK) resellers. Autodesk's AutoCAD software suite is the standard tool used by designers and architects in the construction trade, and it dominates its market much like Adobe's Creative Suite dominates the print, graphic and interactive design fields. Its resellers are the hundreds of consulting organizations and systems integrators that sell Autodesk licenses to customers in the construction business. Like many big software companies, Autodesk relies on a huge reseller channel for the majority of its sales volume.

What my favorite resellers all told me was that they like to play construction-related stocks based on what they see happening at Autodesk, which serves all segments of the construction trade including building, civil engineering, office building design, and factory design.