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Adobe Systems Posts 4Q Loss But Says Demand Rising

BARBARA ORTUTAY

NEW YORK (AP) ¿ Adobe Systems Inc. said Tuesday that although it booked a loss in the fiscal fourth quarter, consumer demand improved and allowed the maker of Photoshop and Flash software to post an optimistic outlook for the current period.

The recession has dampened demand for Creative Suite 4, the latest version of the software package targeting professional designers and developers that brings in the bulk of Adobe's revenue. It happened to launch in the fall of 2008, right as the financial meltdown hit.

But the company said Tuesday it saw demand pick up in the fourth quarter, especially in its final month. Chief Financial Officer Mark Garrett said this November uptick ¿ across many of the company's product lines, mainly in North America and Europe ¿ was more than what the company had expected. Even so, CS4 will likely end up with sales about 20 percent below its predecessor.

Adobe on Tuesday reported a loss of $32 million, or 6 cents per share, for the three months that ended Nov. 27, compared with a profit of $245.9 million, or 46 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.

Stripping out special items such as restructuring charges and an income tax adjustment related to its October acquisition of Omniture Inc., Adobe earned 39 cents per share, surpassing Wall Street analysts' expectations.

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