Adobe really reports record revenue

The software manufacturer reported record revenue for 4Q 2008 and a sixth consecutive year of double-digit growth, making Tuesday's earnings call much more upbeat than the announcement earlier this month of layoffs.

Adobe registered fourth-quarter revenue of $915.3 million, up $4.1 million from Q4 2007 and up $23.9 million from last quarter. Net revenue was $245.9 million, working out to 46 cents / share. Annual revenues were also record-breaking -- $3.580 billion, for 13% year-over-year growth. That's in line with the company's targets at the start of the year.

The quarter, which ended on November 28, saw the release of the company's much-awaited launch of Creative Suite 4. The economic melee led to fairly soft revenues for CS4 according to the numbers released; according to CEO Shantanu Narayen, its sales numbers are down 20% compared to this point in the lifecycle of the previous version.

The company's Q4 projection was a shade above the number pre-released earlier this month, which cited "weaker-than-expected demand" and said revenues would weigh in at between $912 million and $915 million. CFO Mark Garrett said that "execution and cost controls" for the year -- recessionary, we know now -- pulled the company through to its original targets.

Product-wise, things were good with Acrobat (double-digit growth) and LiveCycle in Adobe's Business Productivity segment, and Flash's ongoing march to ubiquity goes without saying. The Mobile and Device Segment put forth especially eye-catching results -- $113 million, or 115% growth. That segment now represents 5% of Adobe's revenue, up from 3%, and will be folded into the new Platform segment classification as the Open Screen multi-platform project comes to fruition.

The company is sticking by its previous estimates for next quarter, predicting revenues between $800 million and $850 million (or 43-47 cents / share). Revenue in each segment is expected to decline in accordance with the economy. The announced layoffs of 600 employees (8% of Adobe's global workforce) will manifest in the numbers next quarter.

The results were embraced by a market lurching about in the wake of the Fed. The stocked closed at $22.32, up $0.96 (4.49%), bounced as high as $24.32 in after-hours trading, and sits at $22.28 of this filing.

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