Updated from 4:50 p.m. EST
reported fourth-quarter results Thursday that beat its recently raised guidance as well as analysts' estimates.
The company also reaffirmed its outlook for fiscal 2005, which projects an approximately 12% jump in sales.
But investors still pushed shares of Adobe down in after-hours trading. After enjoying a steady climb since late July from an intraday low of $39.32, the stock fell $2.11 cents, or 3.5%, to $59 after the bell. That was after falling $1.54, or 2.5%, to close at $61.11.
"It was just a matter of not posting enough upside vs. near-term expectations, but I don't think there's anything wrong with the company," said Tony Ursillo, an analyst with Loomis, Sayles & Co., which holds Adobe shares. "It's still a good name ... but like a lot of stocks, you already made some decent money in it," he said, referring to Adobe's run-up.
The one potential glitch in Adobe's fourth quarter was a slight sequential increase in day sales outstanding, Ursillo said. However, Adobe executives said that number should fall in the first quarter.
Under generally acceptable accounting principles, the San Jose, Calif.-based graphics software maker reported net income of $113.5 million, or 45 cents a share, in the fourth quarter, which ended Dec. 3. That was up from net income of $83.3 million, or 34 cents a share, in the same period a year earlier.
Excluding charges and investment gains and losses, Adobe said it earned pro forma net income of $110.4 million, or 44 cents a share, in the fourth quarter, compared with $83.0 million, or 34 cents a share, a year earlier.
Adobe, known for such products as Acrobat and Photoshop software, said revenue rose 19.8% to $429.5 million from $358.6 million a year earlier.
Wall Street analysts expected Adobe to earn pro forma net income of 42 cents a share on $419.1 million in revenue in the fourth quarter, according to Thomson First Call.
In late October, Adobe
raised fourth-quarter guidance, saying revenue should range from $410 million to $425 million, up from a prior range of $400 million to $415 million. The company raised its outlook for earnings to a range of 40 cents to 43 cents a share from prior targets between 38 cents to 41 cents a share.
Adobe attributed its strong results to continued strength of its Acrobat and Creative Suite platform, which bundles several products such as Acrobat, Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator.
Looking forward, Adobe expects first-quarter revenue to range from $435 million and $455 million and first-quarter GAAP and non-GAAP earnings to range from 45 cents to 48 cents a share. Analysts were forecasting first-quarter revenue of $440.6 million and earnings of 45 cents a share.
Adobe reaffirmed guidance for fiscal year 2005, which calls for revenue to range from $1.85 billion to $1.9 billion, with an operating margin of 34% to 35%.
Analyst estimates were calling for fiscal 2005 revenue of $1.88 billion and earnings of $1.97 a share.
"They have two important product cycles coming up and are still growing at a healthy rate," Ursillo said.
Adobe plans to offer the next version of Acrobat, version 7, later this month. But the company would not give a shipping date for the second version of Creative Suite other than to say it would be during fiscal year 2005.