Is Adobe Guidance Enough for Investors?

Chris Lange

Adobe Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: ADBE) shocked investors after the markets closed on Tuesday, with shares dropping as much as 13%. However, the fear has been slightly rolled back and shares have recovered from that level. Now what would cause such a big scare? Guidance.

At the company’s financial analyst meeting on Tuesday, Adobe management outlined its momentum and strategy, and discussed its multiyear financial growth targets for its business.

Adobe announced its fiscal 2016 financial targets as $2.70 in earnings per share (EPS) on $5.7 billion in revenue, which came in below the consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters that call for $3.19 in EPS on $5.93 billion.

Separately, management described its fiscal 2015 through fiscal 2018 compound annual growth rate (CAGR) and annualized recurring revenue (ARR) targets as follows:

  • Total Adobe revenue will have approximately 20% CAGR.
  • Digital Media segment revenue will have greater than 20% CAGR.
  • Digital Media ARR will have greater than 20% CAGR.
  • Adobe Marketing Cloud revenue will have greater than 20% CAGR.
  • Adobe Marketing Cloud bookings will have approximately 30% CAGR.
  • Non-GAAP EPS will have approximately 30% CAGR.
  • Operating cash flow will have approximately 25% CAGR.

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Shantanu Narayen, president and CEO of Adobe, commented on the guidance:

Adobe is the only company that brings great content and powerful data together, enabling millions of customers globally to build high-impact digital experiences. We are targeting 20% revenue and 30% non-GAAP earnings CAGRs between fiscal 2015 and fiscal 2018 that reflect our business momentum and growing addressable markets.

A few analysts recently weighed in on Adobe:

  • FBR has a Market Perform rating and raised its price target to $87 from $82.
  • RBC Capital reiterated an Outperform rating but lowered its price target to $100 from $105.
  • S&P Equity Research reiterated a Hold rating with an $82 price target.

So far in 2015, Adobe has outperformed the market, with the stock over 17% higher year to date, while over the past 52 weeks shares are up roughly 25%.

Shares of Adobe closed Tuesday down 0.8%, at $85.15 in its 52-week trading range of $ to $. In early trading indications on Wednesday, shares were down 3.3% at $82.33. The stock has a consensus analyst price target of $91.17.

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