Adobe Systems Profits, Revenue looking ‘Suite’ in 2004

During its Earnings Conference Call with industry analysts last week, Adobe Systems’ top executives eagerly shared the company’s strong financial results
for the first quarter of the year: 43 percent revenue growth, driven by early adoption of its Creative Suite
software bundle and continued success of its Acrobat/PDF-based Intelligent Documents solutions.

The impressive results ‘highlight the increasing performance of the Adobe technology platform to Creative Professionals and enterprises worldwide,’ said Bruce Chizen, CEO and president. ‘Our platform strategy is resonating with our customers and driving strong revenue growth.’ Accordingly, Adobe’s executive management team announced during the session that it is raising financial targets for the rest of 2004.

One of the driving factors for the quarter, which ended March 5, was the strong adoption of Adobe’s Creative Suite bundle of integrated, updated software products, executives told analysts. In addition, the Intelligent Documents (formerly epaper) business ‘experienced solid demand across all major geographic markets,’ said Shantanu Narayen, Adobe’s Executive Vice President of Worldwide Products, and in the process set another revenue record.

Total Intelligent Documents revenue for the quarter was $130.3M, representing 109M for the desktop versions of the Acrobat product family and 21.3M for the related, server-based products and solutions. Narayen said that Q1 2004 was the ‘fourth quarter in a row of outstanding performance for Acrobat 6.’

Sales of the Acrobat 6 Standard version continue to maintain a 2:1 ratio over sales of the higher-priced, full-featured Acrobat 6 Professional, Narayen said, which follows company expectations. The low-cost, volume-sales-only Acrobat Elements product ‘continues to be successful in driving seat penetration,’ he explained, adding that it has ‘helped expand the number of full Acrobat licenses to approximately 14M desktops.’ In terms of Acrobat revenue, Elements represents ‘a relatively small percentage of the overall mix.’

The latest quarter’s server products revenue represents 38 percent year-over-year growth, ‘demonstrating continued momentum in the enterprise.’ Narayen listed a number of ‘significant wins’ for the quarter — sales of server-based solutions of $50K or more to a variety of government agencies or large organizations. The average transaction of the 29 purchases was $205K, he said.

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