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What Acquisitions are on Adobe’s Radar?

Posted on Monday, Mar 19th 2018

Adobe (Nasdaq: ADBE) has over the past few years reinvented itself as a cloud-based service provider. Today, it helps its customers to not just create content but also deliver, optimize, and personalize marketing content and applications. Last week, it reported its sixteenth straight quarter of revenue growth driven by growth in its digital media and marketing segments.

Adobe’s Financials

Adobe’s first quarter revenues grew 24% over the year to $2.08 billion, ahead of the market’s projections of $2.05 billion. EPS of $1.55 was also ahead of the Street’s estimate of $1.44 per share.

By segment, revenues from Digital Media Solutions segment were $1.46 billion. Total Digital Media Annualized Recurring Revenue (ARR) grew to $5.72 billion at the end of the quarter. Creative revenues grew to $1.23 billion with its ARR growing to $5.07 billion. Document Cloud revenues grew 18% to $231 million, driven by continued strength with Acrobat subscription adoption, and perpetual licensing of Acrobat through the channel. Document Cloud ARR grew to $647 million.

The Digital Experience segment, formerly the Digital Marketing segment, grew 16% to $554 million, driven by success across its Analytics Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and Advertising Cloud offerings, with emerging solutions such as Audience Manager, Campaign, Target, and Media Optimizer solutions achieving strong results. Key customer deals included Braun, City National Bank, Expedia, Ford, the NFL, Rakuten, Samsung, and T. Rowe Price.

Deferred revenue grew to a record $2.57 billion, up 25% year-over-year. It ended the quarter with cash and short-term investments of $6.15 billion.

For the second quarter, Adobe expects revenues of $2.15 billion, significantly ahead of the Street’s forecast of $2.14 billion. Non GAAP earnings per share are estimated at $1.53, again ahead of the market’s forecast of $1.51.

Adobe’s New Offerings

Adobe is targeting a broader set of consumers and creative professionals through new applications like Adobe Character Animator, Spark, Lightroom CC, Dimension, and XD. Adobe XD is an innovative new app for designing experiences across multiple screens that combines design, prototyping and collaboration capabilities. Adobe recently delivered workflow enhancements, tighter integration with Photoshop and deeper support for new modalities such as pen and touch. Major companies such as Wipro have standardized on XD as their core design product.

Video continues to be a focus area. Editing and production products Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects continued to gain momentum among large production houses, independent film makers, and virtual reality projects.

For its swelling base of PDF users, Adobe has launched new services including Adobe Sign Adobe Scan, which has been downloaded over 7 million times and Adobe Sign, which is now the preferred e-signature solution in Office 365. Adobe Scan is a mobile PDF application that leverages its AI offering Adobe Sensei to capture and create intelligent PDFs.

Questions for the Board

Adobe has been investing organically in AI and mobile technologies and has made very few acquisitions over the past few years. It made the $540 million acquisition of video ad-tech company TubeMogul in 2016. TubeMogul reported annual revenue of $180.7 million in 2015. TubeMogul had listed on the Nasdaq in 2014, but its stock fell from a peak of $22 to nearly $8 apiece before the acquisition. That acquisition has strengthened Adobe’s already strong Marketing Cloud offering.

Then, last year, there was the acquisition of KyleBrush.com with which Adobe added 1,000 digital brushes in its Creative Cloud tools and hired the creator Kyle T. Webster.

But what other companies are on its radar? How will it utilize its cash reserve of over $6 billion and the rich stock price to leverage the unprecedented opportunity in the SaaS?

Analysts are very bullish about Adobe’s performance. Its stock touched an all-time high of $224.9 following its results. It has been climbing steadily throughout the year from the 52-week low of $124.51 a year ago.

Photo Credit: midiman/Flickr.com

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