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Adobe Systems (NASDAQ:ADBE) reported financial results for Q3 ending Sep 1. While the conference call focused on earnings, you have to wonder about the new liability category entitled 'accrued restructuring.'

Appearing in both short and long term liabilities, the obligation now amounts to just under $37 million. Not insignificant when you realize this amount exceeds 10% of the first nine months of net income. Restructuring costs are notoriously sneaky. Is this the Trojan horse? Will this one bite Adobe and burn shareholder values?

Management has conveniently avoided substantive explanations. The closest that Randy Furr, the EVP and CFO, came was this comment at the beginning of the conference call:

Before I review our Q3 financial results, I would like to point out that we are not providing combined year-ago Adobe and Macromedia results for comparison purposes. As we previously stated, Adobe and Macromedia reported the results on different fiscal quarters, which limits our ability to provide accurate comparisons. Therefore, today we will compare our Q3 fiscal 2006 financial results to our Q2 fiscal 2006 results, as well as with pre-acquisition Adobe only results for Q3 in fiscal 2005.

None of the analysts picked up on this either. What outs and backdoors will this provide for the company's future reporting.

ADBE 1-yr chart:

ADBE 1-yr chart

Source: Adobe's New Liability: Management Avoiding Substantive Explanations