Adobe's (ADBE - Get Report) quarterly results were a mixed bag to analysts, but the weakness of the software giant's recently-acquired Marketo unit and some lack of clarity were a near-term negative for the stock.
Adobe shares were falling 3.06% to $275.96 Wednesday.
Adjusted earnings per share for the third quarter came in at $2.25, above Wall Street expectations of $1.97. The EPS result was roughly 18% higher than last year's. Revenue was $2.83 billion, beating analysts estimates of $2.815 billion and the company's own guidance of $2.8 billion. Revenue grew 23% year-over-year. Subscription revenue was $2.546 billion, beating estimates of $2.527 billion, and growing healthy over last year's result of $2.021 billion.
Management guided for fourth quarter revenue of $2.97 billion, missing analysts' projections of $3.04 billion. Adobe said it expects adjusted EPS for the current quarter of $2.25, also missing expectations of $2.30.
Here's what analysts said:
Oppenheimer, Perform, No Published Price Target
"Adobe reported a mixed third quarter. The company beat its quarterly guidance, and the operating margin returned to growth a quarter early, which lends support to ADBE's EPS power story. Additionally, the core Digital Media's segment results and outlook look solid. However, Adobe's fundamentals have deteriorated somewhat with management lowering its annual Experience Cloud bookings target by ~$80M or 5%. The weakness was not attributed to the macro but rather to company-specific issues. Specifically, the Marketo midmarket business missed plan from execution, the cloud analytics from elongated product cycles, and these segments lowered consulting revenue. Management does not break out Marketo, and this lack of transparency coming off a guide down, combined with tougher y/y quarterly comparisons looming, could overhang the stock near-term."
- Brian Schwartz
JPMorgan, Neutral, Price Target Reduced From $329 to $318
"The income statement results for the quarter were good, and so was Creative Cloud annual recurring revenue, but the digital marketing part of the business remains the inconsistent piece with bookings shortfall weighing on the 4Q19 outlook. We think the issues, especially with Analytics Cloud, are a timing issue and will eventually come back to ADBE. But we would like to see consistency out of this part of the business and better monetization of the Marketo acquisition."
- Sterling Auty
Credit Suisse, Outperform, Price Target $325
"While some may harp on the inconsistencies in Digital Experience (likely missing internal expectations for 3rd consecutive year), we believe increased investments in Experience Platform and Real-Time CDP will help differentiate and drive long-term adoption. Additionally we anticipate that annual recurring revenue momentum continues, particularly with Document Cloud, as Adobe can both attract new customers and increase average revenue per user across the user base. Changes to the Model: We adjust our fiscal year 2019 revenue estimates to $11.15bn from $11.20bn. Our $325 discounted cash flow derived target price implies 32 times enterprise value to free cash flow (calendar year 2020)."
- Brad Zelnick
BMO Capital Markets, Outperform, Price Target Reduced From $315 to $310
"Bottom Line: By ADBE's standards, we think the quarterly report was disappointing due to management lowering Digital Experience FY19 guidance and guiding total 4Q revenues below consensus, even though billings growth was solid. ADBE's fourth quarter guidance implies Digital Experience growth of ~31% for the full year, which is lower than previous fiscal year 2019 guidance of 34%. We believe half of the decline of ~$80 million is attributed to lower consulting revenues from slower implementation of the Digital Experience Platform, and the other half from weaker Marketo sales into the midmarket. We think Digital Experience revenue growth has been a lingering concern for investors. We project Digital Experience to grow by 16% year-over-year in fiscal year 2020, and we believe that management will need to guide the Digital Experience to mid- to high-teens to support the shares."