Adobe Systems (Nasdaq: ADBE) has a fresh version of its bread-and-butter Creative Suite product coming in a couple of weeks. You might expect sales of Version 4 to drop off at the end of its status as Adobe's top-of-the-line media-making tools, but that's not how Adobe rolls right now.
Instead, Creative Suite 4 (CS4) sales increased by $3 million to $432 million when compared to the previous quarter, sending Adobe's total sales up by 9.3% year-over-year to $859 million, surpassing the top end of management's own guidance by $9 million. GAAP earnings fell from $0.30 per share to $0.24 per share on the same basis, near the very pinnacle of Adobe's guidance. Other than unexpectedly high demand for the aging CS4 suite, the Acrobat document handling catalog and the recently acquired Omniture advertising arm contributed to Adobe's outperformance.
And an outperformance it was. On a muted market day where tech stalwarts such as Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), Intel (Nasdaq: INTC), and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) all trade within 1% of last night's closing prices, Adobe took a 4% leap on the news.
Speaking of Apple, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen took the opportunity to clarify where his company stands with respect to getting Flash content to play on the Apple iPhone and iPad, among other new devices.
"We are committed to bringing Flash to any platform on which there's a screen," he said. "You've seen demonstrations of Flash running on smartphones from multiple vendors at Mobile World Congress, including [Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)] Android, where Eric Schmidt showed it as part of his keynote. So it's nothing to do with technology. It's an Apple issue. And I think you'll have to check with them on that."
In fact, Narayen wants to see flash on every smartphone platform out there, from Android and iPhone to the Nokia (NYSE: NOK) Symbian and Palm (Nasdaq: PALM) WebOS -- and also on entirely new platforms like modern, highly connected TV sets. He'd be crazy not to pursue these opportunities, frankly, because the HTML5 revolution is nigh and Flash could easily be displaced as the de facto standard for online media if the company doesn't stay diligent.
Adobe is doing well and seems to understand what it takes to stay healthy in this ever-changing technology landscape. Today's price pop is well-deserved, in my opinion.
But what's your opinion? Tell everyone what you think in the comments below.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Google, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. Intel, Microsoft, and Nokia are Motley Fool Inside Value picks. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Apple and Adobe Systems are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. The Fool has created a covered strangle position on Intel. Motley Fool Options has recommended a buy calls position on Intel. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.