Adobe Systems (ADBE 1.68%) is one of the largest enterprise software companies in the world, but one Wall Street firm still sees upside. Analysts at Wolfe Research recently gave the tech stock a price target of $650 -- 27% higher than its current share price.
While investing based on near-term price targets alone is typically a bad strategy, Adobe recently reported strong first-quarter earnings, and it stands to benefit from digital transformation efforts in the years ahead. Here are three reasons to consider buying the stock.
1. Adobe is a canvas for creativity
Adobe Creative Cloud is a software built for professionals like graphic designers, film editors, special effects artists, and social influencers.
Creativity is a valuable asset that can differentiate one enterprise from the next. Notably, according to research company Forrester, creative organizations grow 2.6 times faster than their rivals. That's why products like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premier Pro are so powerful -- they have become industry standards for image and film editing, respectively, allowing clients to express their creativity on a digital canvas.
In the first quarter, Adobe Creative Cloud revenue hit $2.4 billion, up 31% from the prior year. That figure is impressive on its own, but it also represents an acceleration from the 22% growth over the prior year. For reference, Adobe's first quarter in fiscal 2020 ended Feb. 28 -- two weeks before the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic. In other words, Adobe's top line acceleration in Q1 2021 is not the result of pandemic-driven weakness in Q1 2020.
Management believes Creative Cloud's addressable market will reach $41 billion by 2023. As a leading provider of creativity software, Adobe is well positioned for growth here.
2. Adobe improves document productivity
Adobe Document Cloud is an array of software products built around the portable document format (PDF). For example, Adobe Acrobat allows clients to create, view, edit, and share digital documents from any device, and Adobe Sign enables clients to track, store, and collect electronic signatures.
Document Cloud significantly boosts productivity and efficiency compared to paper-based solutions. In fact, according to Adobe, clients can save up to 90% when they create, sign, share, and store electronic documents with Document Cloud. That makes it easy to understand why more than 5 million organizations worldwide use Acrobat.
In Q1 2021, Adobe Document Cloud revenue reached $480 million, up 37% from the previous year. Again, this marks an acceleration from the 24% sales growth in 2020. During the conference call, CEO Shantanu Narayen highlighted strong momentum in Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Sign, as well as mobile applications like Adobe Scan and Acrobat Mobile. Narayen also mentioned the launch of liquid mode -- an AI-powered tool that automatically reformats PDF text and images to improve the mobile experience.
Adobe believes its market opportunity in this segment will reach $21 billion by 2023.
3. Adobe powers personalized customer experiences
Adobe Experience Cloud is a software suite designed for analytics, marketing, and commerce. For example, Adobe Experience Manager is an AI-powered platform that allows clients to create, manage, and deliver personalized content across any device. In other words, two different consumers who visit the same website or mobile app will have different, data-driven experiences.
Forrester recently recognized Adobe as the leader in this space, citing its AI technology as a key differentiator.
In the first quarter, Experience Cloud revenue reached $934 million, up 24% from the previous year. Yet again, this marks an acceleration from the 16% revenue growth in 2020. Notably, Adobe's strength in this segment recently helped it win partnerships with government agencies in all 50 states.
Management expects this market to reach $85 billion by 2023 -- that's about 90 times Adobe's trailing-12-month revenue from Experience Cloud. Investors should pay particularly close attention to this segment, since this represents the company's greatest opportunity for growth.
A final word
Accelerating sales across Creative Cloud, Document Cloud, and Experience Cloud makes one thing clear: Adobe's products are gaining traction with consumers. Moreover, these different software platforms benefit from significant synergies, offering clients an end-to-end solution for the creation, management, and delivery of digital content.
Going forward, Adobe's competitive strengths should power continued growth in all of its businesses. That's why investors should consider picking up a few shares of this tech stock today.