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Adobe Lowers Guidance

Updated from 4:48 p.m. EDT

Adobe Systems (ADBE) grew second-quarter sales by 28% but still came in below its own guidance and Wall Street's estimates.

The design software maker also lowered its guidance for the rest of the fiscal year.

The news led to a quick selloff Thursday. In recent after-hours trade, shares were off $1.21, or 4.2% to $27.75.

Revenue in the May quarter was $635.5 million compared with $496 million a year ago. The top line was bolstered by the acquisition of Macromedia in December, 2005.

Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting sales of $645 million; the company had guided sales of $640 million to $670 million.

Adobe posted a GAAP profit of $123.1 million, or 20 cents a share, compared with $149.8 million, or 29 cents a share, in the same quarter of fiscal 2005.

Excluding various items, the company earned 31 cents a share, a penny better than analysts had forecast.

For the third quarter, Adobe is targeting revenue of $580 million to $610 million, compared with expectations of $629 million. EPS, it said, should range from 25 cents to 27 cents. Wall Street was looking for 29 cents.

For the rest of the year, the company lowered its revenue target to a range of $2.54 billion to $2.60 billion from the prior target of approximately $2.7 billion.

Non-GAAP EPS will range from $1.20 to $1.25 a share, compared with earlier guidance of $1.26 to $1.30. Wall Street was looking for EPS of $1.26.

Adobe has had a rough spring. Shares started to slide in early May when the company said it expects to hit the low end of previous second-quarter guidance.

A bullish note by an analyst at Cowen & Co. sparked a brief rally earlier this week, but those gains have largely been erased, and the stock is off 23% since the first of the year.

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