Why Is Adobe (ADBE) Down 4.2% Since Last Earnings Report?

It has been about a month since the last earnings report for Adobe Systems (ADBE). Shares have lost about 4.2% 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 Misses Q4 Earnings Estimates, Beats Revenues

Adobe Systems Incorporated reported fourth-quarter fiscal 2018 non-GAAP earnings of $1.83 per share, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.88. However, the figure increased 5.8% sequentially and 45.2% on a year-over-year basis.

Adjusted revenues also increased 23% year over year to $2.46 billion, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.43 billion. Excluding the acquisition of Marketo, revenues in the fiscal fourth quarter were 2.44 billion.

The growth was driven by contribution from Marketo acquisition, 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 $2.18 billion (88.6% of its total revenues), up 28.8% on a year-over-year basis.

Product revenues totaled $150.4 million (6.1% of revenues), decreasing 22% year over year.

Services & support revenues came in at $130 million (5.3% of revenues), increasing 10.5% year over year.

Segment Details

The company operates in two reportable segments — Digital Media and Digital Experience.

Digital Media — This segment generated revenues of $1.71 billion, which increased 23% on a year-over-year basis. The segment comprises Creative Cloud and Document Cloud. Additionally, Digital Media ARR increased by $430 million to $6.83billion.

Creative Cloud (CC) generated $1.45 billion of revenues, reflecting 26% year-over-year growth. Additionally, Creative ARR increased by a record $373 million. The growth drivers in the quarter were strong net new subscriptions across user segments and geographies, driven by robust traffic and customer acquisition on Adobe.com. Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales also aided the results. Moreover, new product introductions, strong demand for online video creation and improving average revenue per user (ARPU) across key offerings were other positives.

Document Cloud (DC) generated $259 million of revenues, up 10% from the year-ago quarter. Moreover, Document ARR came in at more than $800 million. This was driven by strong performance of Adobe Sign and growing adoption of Acrobat DC. The company experienced robust growth in Acrobat units on a year-over-year basis.

Moreover, it 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 $690 million, which increased 25% on a year-over-year basis. The segment includes Adobe Experience Cloud. 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.

Operating Details

Gross margin was 85.4% in the quarter, contracting 110 basis points (bps) on a year-over-year basis.

Adobe incurred operating expenses of $1.35 billion, reflecting an increase of 26.6% year over year. As a percentage of total revenues, sales & marketing, general & administrative, as well as research & development costs increased.

Adjusted operating margin was 38.6%, reflecting a decrease of 160 bps year over year.

Balance Sheet & Cash Flow

As of Nov 30, 2018, cash and investments balance was $3.23 billion, down from $4.94 billion in the fiscal third quarter. Trade receivables were $1.32 billion, up from $1.04 billion recorded in the fiscal third quarter.

In the reported quarter, cash generated from operations was $1.1 billion, up from $955 million in the fiscal third quarter.


For first-quarter fiscal 2019, the company projects total revenues of $2.54 billion. 

Adobe expects year-over-year revenue growth of 20% and 31% from Digital Media and Digital Experience segment, respectively.

Based on a share count of 495 million, management expects GAAP and non-GAAP earnings of $1.14 and $1.60 per share, respectively. 

For fiscal 2019, the company projects total revenues of $11.150 billion. 

Adobe expects year-over-year revenue growth of 20% and 34% from Digital Media and Digital Experience segment, respectively.

Management expects GAAP and non-GAAP earnings of $5.54 and $7.75 per share, respectively. 

The revenue guidance for 2019 includes the contribution from Marketo.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

Fresh estimates followed a downward path over the past two months. The consensus estimate has shifted -18.97% due to these changes.

VGM Scores

Currently, Adobe has a nice Growth Score of B, though it is lagging a lot on the Momentum Score front with an F. Following the exact same course, the stock was allocated a grade of F on the value side, putting it in the fifth quintile for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of D. If you aren’t focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.


Adobe has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.

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