Adobe Sees Demand Improve, Despite a Rough Fiscal Year

| About: Adobe Systems (ADBE)

Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) said it saw an “improvement in customer demand” as it wound down a difficult fiscal year.

Adobe reported a fourth quarter net loss of $32.04 million, or 6 cents a share on revenue of $757.3 million, down from a profit of $245.9 million, or 46 cents a share, on sales of $915.3 million in the same quarter a year ago. The results include the results from recently acquired Web analytics firm Omniture, which chipped in revenue of $26.3 million.

Non-GAAP earnings were $206.8 million, or 39 cents a share (statement). Wall Street was expecting non-GAAP earnings of 37 cents a share.

For fiscal 2009, Adobe reported net income of $386.5 million, or 73 cents a share, on revenue of $2.95 billion. That tally is a big reversal from a year ago when Adobe reported net income of $871.8 million, or $1.59 a share, on revenue of $3.58 billion.

As for the outlook, Adobe projected first quarter revenue between $800 million to $850 million. That is a little better than the $798 million in revenue expected by Wall Street but company execs said the guidance is “prudent” given there there’s usually a “modest seasonal decline” in Q1. Adobe is projecting non-GAAP earnings of 34 cents a share to 39 cents a share. Wall Street was expecting earnings of 37 cents a share.

The company said it was not providing a full-year 2010 forecast because of the continued economic uncertainty but did say it’s committed to at least a 34 percent non-GAAP operating margin for the year, as previously announced.

Executives said they remain excited about the prospects for the year and are focused on four key areas for the coming year: a must-have release of the creative suite, driving double-digit growth in the enterprise, creating value with Omniture and advancing the Flash platform.

By the numbers:

  • Adobe had 8,660 employees worldwide, up from 7,544 at the end of fiscal 2008.
  • The Americas represented 47 percent of Adobe’s revenue in the quarter with Europe, Middle East and Africa representing 32 percent. Asia represented 21 percent of sales.

And the breakdown by product line: