Why Adobe Systems Inc. Shares Soared Today

Is Adobe Systems' jump meaningful? Or just another movement?

Jun 18, 2014 at 12:26PM

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Adobe Systems (NASDAQ:ADBE) touched a new all-time high early Wednesday, jumping more than 10% after the company released better-than-expected fiscal second-quarter results.

So what: Quarterly revenue rose 5.7%, to $1.07 billion, which was well above Adobe's own targeted range of $1.00 billion to $1.05 billion. That translated to adjusted earnings of $0.37 per diluted share. Analysts, on average, were only looking for earnings of $0.34 per share on sales of $1.03 billion.

Adobe also provided fiscal third-quarter guidance for sales of $975 million to $1.025 billion, and adjusted earnings per share of $0.22 to $0.28. Curiously, the mid-point of both ranges sits below analysts' average expectations for earnings of $0.27 per share on sales of $1.02 billion.

Now what: If you're wondering why the market is willing to overlook Adobe's Q3 guidance shortfall, look no further than the stellar performance of its Cloud-based software offerings. First, quarterly revenue from Adobe's Marketing Cloud grew 23% year over year, to $283 million. But the real standout was Adobe's Creative Cloud solution, which grew more than 25% sequentially, to 2.308 million subscribers. Better yet, management expects Creative Cloud sequential growth to continue accelerating through the rest of the year, culminating in the addition of another 1 million subscribers.

As a result, Adobe is now targeting $1.925 billion in annual recurring revenue from digital media products as it exits fiscal 2014. All things considered -- and even with shares currently trading at a rich 36 times next year's expected earnings -- I think Adobe Systems stock is a solid buy for long-term investors today.

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Steve Symington has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Adobe Systems. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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