A month has gone by since the last earnings report for Adobe Systems (ADBE). Shares have lost about 7.3% in that time frame, underperforming the S&P 500.
Will the recent negative trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Adobe due for a breakout? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let’s take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.
Adobe Beats Earnings and Revenues Estimates in Q3
Adobe Systems Incorporated reported third-quarter fiscal 2018 non-GAAP earnings of $1.73 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.69. Also, the figure increased 4.2% sequentially and 57.3% on a year-over-year basis.
Adjusted revenues also increased 4.4% sequentially and 24% year over year to $2.29 billion, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.25 billion.
The year-over-year growth was driven by strong demand for the company’s innovative solutions and products, strength across geographies, along with growing subscriptions for its cloud application.
Top Line in Detail
Adobe reports revenues in three categories — Subscription, product and services & support.
Subscription revenues came in at $2.02 billion (88.2% of the total revenues), up 28.7% on a year-over-year basis.
Product revenues totaled $149.1 million (6.5% of revenues), decreasing 6.2% year over year.
Services & support revenues came in at $120.4 million (5.3% of revenues), increasing 7.8% year over year.
The company operates in two reportable segments — Digital Media and Digital Experience.
Digital Media — This segment generated revenues of $1.61 billion, which increased 27% on a year-over-year basis. The segment comprises Creative Cloud and Document Cloud. Additionally, Digital Media ARR increased $339 million to $6.4billion, attributable to the transition made on Adobe.com from using U.S. dollar to local currency in certain markets.
Creative Cloud (CC) generated $1.36 billion of revenues, reflecting 28% year-over-year growth. Additionally, Creative ARR increased $289 million to $5.66 billion. The year-over-year growth was driven by robust performance of Adobe Stock, as well as Stock and collaboration services. Moreover, improving average revenue per user (ARPU) across key offerings and increasing net new subscriptions drove the top line of CC. Additionally, the company entered into various creative agreements in the reported quarter and most of them included service offering that drove the creative ARR.
Document Cloud (DC) generated $249 million of revenues, up 21% from the year-ago quarter. Moreover, Document ARR came in at $744 million. This was driven by strong performance of Adobe Sign and growing adoption of Acrobat. The company experienced robust growth in Acrobat units on a year-over-year basis.
Moreover, the company experienced robust bookings across various platforms such as Adobe Marketing Cloud, Adobe Analytics Cloud and Adobe Advertising Cloud.
Digital Experience — This segment generated revenues of $614 million, which increased 21% on a year-over-year basis. The segment includes Adobe Experience Cloud. The company recorded 25% growth in subscription revenues within the segment. Further, robust Analytics Cloud, Marketing Cloud and Advertising Cloud offerings, coupled with emerging solutions such as Audience Manager, Campaign, Target, and Media Optimizer solutions drove its top line.
Gross margin was 87.1% in the quarter, expanding 140 basis points (bps) on a year-over-year basis. The gross margin expansion was attributed to strong subscription revenues.
Adobe incurred operating expenses of $1.25 billion, reflecting an increase of 23.7% year over year. As a percentage of total revenues, sales & marketing as well as general & administrative expenses decreased, while research & development costs increased slightly.
Adjusted operating margin was 31.4%, reflecting an expansion of 180 bps year over year.
Balance Sheet & Cash Flow
As of Sep 30, 2018, cash and investments balance was $4.94 billion, down from $6.33 billion in the last reported quarter. Trade receivables were $1.04 billion, down from $1.07 billion recorded in the fiscal second quarter.
In the reported quarter, cash generated from operations was $955 million, down from $976.4 million in the last reported quarter.
During the quarter, Adobe repurchased approximately 2.9 million shares for $714 million.
For fourth-quarter fiscal 2018, the company projects total revenues of $2.42 billion.
Adobe expects year-over-year revenue growth of 22% and 20% from Digital Media and Digital Experience segments, respectively.
Based on a share count of 495 million, management expects GAAP earnings and non-GAAP earnings of $1.42 and $1.87 per share, respectively.
How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?
Fresh estimates followed an upward path over the past two months.
Currently, Adobe has a strong Growth Score of A, a grade with the same score on the momentum front. However, the stock was allocated a grade of F on the value side, putting it in the lowest quintile for this investment strategy.
Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of C. If you aren’t focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.
Adobe has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). We expect an above average return from the stock in the next few months.
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