Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Adobe profits jump on strong sales

Adobe announced Monday that fourth-quarter profit surged 21 percent, beating Wall Street expectations thanks to record revenue after the company's biggest-ever software launch.

Net income for the three months ending Nov. 30 was $222.2 million, or 38 cents a share, compared with $183.2 million, or 30 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Fourth-quarter sales were a record $911.2 million, up 34 percent from a year ago and easily exceeding the company's own estimates of $860 million to $890 million.

San Jose-based Adobe (ADBE) also announced Monday it would repurchase an additional 30 million shares for a total buyback of 50 million shares. The company, which announced the buyback in April, had repurchased 17.7 million shares through November, leaving about 587.9 million outstanding.

Excluding certain expenses, such as stock-based compensation and restructuring charges related to the December 2005 acquisition of Macromedia, Adobe's 4th-quarter profit was $289.6 million, or 49 cents per share, compared with $198.9 million or 33 cents per share in the year-ago period.

On that basis, which does not comply with generally accepted accounting principles, analysts were expecting the maker of popular consumer and corporate software such as Photoshop and Acrobat to earn $281.15 million, or 37 cents per share, on sales of $887.33 million, according to a Thomson Financial survey.

"It was a strong quarter all around, from product perspective and geography," Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen, who replaced Bruce Chizen on Dec. 1, said in an interview with The Associated Press.


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