Adobe records first billion-dollar quarter, bullish on outlook

Adobe Systems said today that it recorded its first ever billion-dollar quarter, beating Wall Street's estimates and forecasting a bullish outlook for its first quarter.For the fourth quarter, the company reported non-GAAP earnings of 56 cents per share, up from a 6 cents per share loss for the same quarter a year ago.

Adobe Systems said today that it recorded its first ever billion-dollar quarter, beating Wall Street's estimates and forecasting a bullish outlook for its first quarter.

For the fourth quarter, the company reported non-GAAP earnings of 56 cents per share, up from a 6 cents per share loss for the same quarter a year ago. Revenue for the fourth quarter was $1.01 billion, a 33 percent jump over the $757.3 million reported a year ago. (Statement)

Wall Street analysts has been expecting earnings of 52 cents per share on revenue of $988.1 million.

For the fiscal year, the company reported earnings of $1.93 per share, up from $1.54 for the previous year. Revenue for the year was $3.8 billion, a 29 percent increase over last year's $2.946 billion.

In a statement, president and CEO Shantanu Narayen said:

We posted our first billion dollar quarter and record annual revenue in 2010, driven by outstanding performance across all of our major businesses. Adobe is transforming how the world is creating, measuring and delivering digital experiences. We are one of the most diversified software companies in the world and are entering 2011 with strong momentum.

Looking ahead, the company said it's forecasting revenue of $1 billion to $1.05 billion for its first quarter and is targeting earnings to be between 54 cents and 59 cents per share.

On a call with investors, the company called 2010 an "outstanding year" and said that it continues to reach a broader set of customers, noting the launches of Creative Suite 5 and Flash Player 10.1 this year.

Specifically, the company played up the widespread significance of Flash, despite a scathing review in an open letter penned by Apple's Steve Jobs earlier this year. "Flash remains the best cross-platform solution for rich Internet apps, video and casual gaming," Narayen said.

The company ended the quarter with 9,117 employees, up from 8,715 at the end of the third quarter, with hiring mostly in sales, marketing and R&D, as well as 179 from the acquisition of Day Software. The company has cash and short-term investments of $2.5 billion.

Shares of Adobe were up slightly in regular trading, closing at $29.18. Shares were on the upswing in after-hours trading.