Adobe posts mixed third-quarter earnings

Adobe's third fiscal quarter earnings come in higher than Wall Street expected, but lower than the company posted during the same quarter last year.
Written by Josh Lowensohn, Contributor

Adobe Systems today posted a profit of $195 million, or 39 cents a share on $1.013 billion. That was down from earnings of $230 million, or 44 cents a share, on $990.3 million the company saw at the same time last year.

The performance also came in 1 cent per share above Wall Street's non-GAAP estimates.

"Our industry is in the midst of a major transformation," said Shantanu Narayen, president and CEO of Adobe in a statement. "We are aligning around two large initiatives: content authoring and digital marketing. Each of these opportunities offers significant growth potential, and Adobe is well-positioned to be the market leader in both."

The software company, which is based in San Jose, Calif., gave guidance for the next quarter and expects between $1.075 to $1.125 billion in revenue and projected earnings between 41 to 50 cents per share.

Shares of Adobe were down in regular trading, closing at $24.64, but are up in after hours trading.

In its third quarter earnings call, Adobe executive vice president and chief financial officer Mike Garrett said that the company's Creative Suit 5.5 software suite continues to maintain a "solid run rate," and that CS5 and CS5.5's combined revenue is about the same as CS3. It's also exceeded CS4 revenue by around 25 percent, Garrett said.

The company's also drawing new customers with the subscription version of its CS5.5 product, Garrett said. More than a third of subscribers have never bought an Adobe product before.

The company also talked up HTML5, saying it was "doubling down" on its investments there. Adobe president and chief executive officer Shantanu Narayen specifically called out its preview of its Edge tool, which drew more interest than the company expected. Narayen also called out the company's introduction of its Web site builder Muse, and additions to Webkit.

Other tidbits:

  • Adobe closed out the quarter with 10,041 employees.

  • Adobe repurchased approximately 3.6 million shares of company stock.

  • Acrobat's seen 7 percent year over year growth

  • Cash and short-term investments came in at $2.7 billion

  • Deferred revenue increased to $484 million

Correction at 1:54 p.m. to note that earnings beat expectations based on non-GAAP estimates.

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