Earnings Preview: Adobe Systems to report 4th qtr

AP News
Posted: Dec 14, 2009 1:15 PM

Adobe Systems Inc. reports earnings for its fiscal fourth quarter on Tuesday. The following is a summary of key developments and analyst opinion related to the period.

OVERVIEW: Adobe Systems, based in San Jose, Calif., is known for its Photoshop, Flash and Acrobat graphics and publishing software. In September, Adobe agreed to buy Omniture Inc. in a $1.8 billion deal. Omniture makes software that analyzes Web traffic, helping marketers measure the effectiveness of their online content.

In November, Adobe announced it is cutting 680 full-time jobs, or about 9 percent of its work force, as it aligns costs with its fiscal 2010 budget. The company had also cut 9 percent of Omniture's work force.

The recession has slowed demand for Creative Suite 4, the most recent version of the software package that brings in the bulk of Adobe's revenue. Nonetheless, analysts say demand is picking up due in part to a modest improvement in the advertising market.

BY THE NUMBERS: In October, Adobe reiterated its forecast for fourth-quarter earnings of 23 cents to 29 cents per share on sales of $690 million to $740 million. Excluding one-time items, Adobe expects to earn 33 cents to 39 cents per share for the three months ended Nov. 27.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters on average expect profit of 37 cents per share on sales of $752.5 million. Analysts typically exclude one-time items from their estimates.

ANALYST TAKE: Citing a recent survey of creative professionals who use Adobe's Creative Suite products, Jefferies analyst Ross MacMillan said adoption of Creative Suite 4 "continues in the tail as the advertising economy shows some signs of strength."

Creative Suite 4, also known as CS4, launched more than a year ago, so it is at the tail end of its product cycle.

WHAT'S AHEAD: MacMillan, who rates adobe "Hold," said he is "less positive" on the first quarter than he is on the fourth.

STOCK PERFORMANCE: Adobe's shares gained nearly 13 percent during the quarter to close at $35.38 on Nov. 27. The stock gained nearly 53 percent during the full fiscal year.