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Cloud Services Pushes Adobe Systems Profits Above Analysts’ Forecasts

  • Brian Womack
  • September 21 2016, 6:30am EDT

(Bloomberg) -- Adobe Systems Inc. forecast fiscal fourth-quarter profit that will exceed analysts’ estimates, strengthened by demand for the company’s marketing and design software delivered over the cloud with subscription services.

Key Points

•The company forecast sales of $1.55 billion to $1.6 billion and adjusted earnings of 83 cents to 89 cents per share. That compares with the average analyst projections of $1.58 billion and 78 cents, respectively, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

•Fiscal third-quarter revenue climbed 20 percent to $1.46 billion, the company said Tuesday in a statement. Analysts’ estimated $1.45 billion.

•Profit excluding certain items was 75 cents a share in the period ended Sept. 2. Analysts on average projected profit of 72 cents.

•Shares rose as much as 5.9 percent to $106.54 in extended trading after the earnings were released. The stock has gained 7.1 percent this year.

The Big Picture

Chief Executive Officer Shantanu Narayen is doubling down on cloud-based products that let users access software without having to install it on their computers. The company, using a subscription model, provides tools that enable customers to edit digital photographs, employ a new marketing campaign or manage electronic signatures.

The Detail

•Third-quarter net income increased to $270.8 million, or 54 cents a share, from $174.4 million, or 35 cents, a year earlier.

•Marketing Cloud revenue gained 10 percent to $404 million.

•Digital Media sales were up 29 percent to $909 million.

•Operating expenses increased 14 percent to $891.9 million.

•The company expects Marketing Cloud revenue growth of about 30 percent in the current quarter.

CFO Interview

•“We are in an explosive category,” said Mark Garrett, Adobe’s chief financial officer. “Everyone’s moving digital. Every company wants digital experiences for their customers.”

•“We have seen consistent demand around the world,” he said. The vote in the U.K. to leave the European Union caused a “short-term impact,” but the company still performed to projections, he added.

Street Takeaways

•“This is coming off a quarter where they disappointed somewhat, so I think this is getting back on track,” said Josh Olson, an analyst at Edward Jones & Co., after Adobe’s third-quarter sales forecast fell below analysts’ projections. “I do have to give management a lot of credit -- they have executed very well. They really are the kind of standard-bearer for this transition or pivot to the cloud.”

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