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Adobe Riding High

The software developer posts a strong quarter, says next quarter will be even better.
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Updated from 4:36 p.m. EST


Adobe Systems

(ADBE) - Get Free Report

delivered shining fourth-quarter earnings Monday and boasted that it would do even better next quarter.

The company also boosted its share-buyback program.

The San Jose, Calif., software developer took in $911.2 million, up 34% from revenue of $682.2 million in the same quarter of last year. Analysts were looking for a top line of $887.3 million, according to Thomson Financial.

EPS was 38 cents on net income of $222.2 million, vs. 30 cents on a net of $183.2 million in the year-ago period.

At EPS of 49 cents, excluding items, Adobe beat the consensus estimate by a penny.

Shares were up $2.77, or 6.8%, to $43.67 in after-hours trading.

The company is targeting first-quarter revenue of $855 million to $885 million and EPS, excluding items, of 44 cents to 46 cents. Analysts were anticipating revenue of $835.8 million and EPS of 42 cents.

The maker of Acrobat and other graphics software attributed the strong quarter to healthy sales of its Creative Suite 3 products.

Adobe added 30 million shares to its stock repurchasing program. The company had bought back 11 million shares during the quarter, CFO Mark Garrett said on the conference call. Adobe has bought back 17.7 million shares of the previous 20 million-share program.

It was President Shantanu Narayen's first call as CEO. Bruce Chizen, the previous CEO, stepped down Dec. 1.

Narayen said Creative Suite 3 would have a "long tail" and continue to generate significant revenue through 2008. He said the company also would introduce or upgrade several products during the year to offset the seasonality of Adobe's revenue, but he declined to specify the products.