More Highs Ahead for ADBE
September 23, 2018
Adobe Systems (ADBE) is well known because of its PDF format and Photoshop software, but it is also moving forward into some of the innovative areas of the future. The company has started incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning into marketing efforts to help advertisers – including Coca-Cola (KO) and AT&T (T) – better target customers.
This comes on the heels of its transition to cloud-based software available through subscriptions, which Wall Street loves because it generates more revenue and is also more predictable.
The stock has been on a roll with its earnings these past two quarters, beating estimates on both the top and bottom lines. While ADBE saw a “sell the news” reaction last quarter, it hit a new yearly high of $277.61 after its results were released on September 14.
Earnings Beat the Street
The company beat estimates for both earnings and revenue, and included solid guidance. Earnings surged 57% to $1.73 a share, ahead of the consensus estimate for $1.69. Revenue grew 24% to $2.29 billion, also beating expectations for $2.25 billion. For the current quarter, management forecast sales of $2.43 billion and earnings of $1.87 a share, both in line to slightly above the Street’s forecasts.
Adobe’s creative and digital media segment’s sales increased 27%, with the forecast for the current quarter for another 22%. This segment is the home of Adobe’s popular Creative Cloud suite and it has been growing at a faster rate than that, but the switch to more software subscriptions should help growth continue while also producing a more predictable revenue stream.
The other segment, Adobe’s experience cloud unit, grew sales 21% thanks to the acquisition three months ago of Magento to help with online commerce. Management is also considering buying Marketo, a cloud-based marketing software company.
The stock is up over 50% since January 1, and while it is consolidating in the mid-$260s after its big run, I definitely see another move higher in the cards as more investors pile in as they realize the long-term growth potential this company offers.