Because of the calamitous earthquake and tsunami in Japan, CEO Shantanu Narayen explained that orders dropped off dramatically in Japan this month. March is typically the best month of the year as Japanese companies often end their fiscal years at the end of the month, so this is where all the budget-flushing action tends to happen.
That's why he lowered second-quarter sales guidance by $50 million -- one-third the expected revenue from Japan, or 5% of Adobe's total revenue -- and refused to get into guessing games for the second half of the year. Reducing Adobe's market value by 5% on a short-term 5% revenue drop seems shortsighted to me, which makes for a potential buy-in opportunity today.
Adobe gave us another reason to like the stock today: The company is adjusting to the fast-moving realities of the tablet and smartphone explosion by releasing product updates more often.
A 24-month release cycle for Adobe's Creative Suite software may have been fine on an Internet time scale, where creative professionals had a fairly stable target environment to shoot for -- browser technologies just don't change dramatically very often.
But now, the Google
Any or all of these environments could look very different a year from now and almost certainly will be different in two years -- and you haven't even considered what to do with newcomers like the Research In Motion
Releasing a new version of InDesign, DreamWeaver, and Photoshop every year might be the only way to cope with all of that, and that's pushing Adobe to target annual updates.
So Adobe is making some important and correct decisions right now, while Mr. Market overreacts to short-term weakness in Japan. I'm taking an "outperform" position on Adobe in CAPS to take advantage of this imbalance, and you'd be well-advised to do the same.
At the very least, add Adobe to your watchlist -- that way, you won't miss a thing when the stock realigns with business reality again.