Adobe Systems, Inc. :ADBE-US: Earnings Analysis: Q3, 2017 By the Numbers : September 29, 2017

Adobe Systems, Inc. reports financial results for the quarter ended August 31, 2017.

We analyze the earnings along side the following peers of Adobe Systems, Inc. – Oracle Corporation, Autodesk, Inc., Intuit Inc., Red Hat, Inc. and salesforce.com, inc. (ORCL-US, ADSK-US, INTU-US, RHT-US and CRM-US) that have also reported for this period.

Highlights

  • Summary numbers: Revenues of USD 1,840.85 million, Net Earnings of USD 419.57 million.
  • Gross margins widened from 84.57% to 84.66% compared to the same period last year, operating (EBITDA) margins now 34.10% from 30.76%.
  • Year-on-year change in operating cash flow of 36.02% is about the same as the change in earnings, likely no significant movement in accruals or reserves.
  • Earnings growth from operating margin improvements as well as one-time items.

The table below shows the preliminary results and recent trends for key metrics such as revenues and net income growth:

2017-08-31 2017-05-31 2017-02-28 2016-11-30 2016-08-31
Relevant Numbers (Quarterly)
Revenues (mil) 1840.85 1758.88 1663.34 1578.86 1460.06
Revenue Growth (%YOY) 26.08 26.08 20.52 20.97 20.8
Earnings (mil) 419.57 374.39 398.45 399.61 270.79
Earnings Growth (%YOY) 54.94 53.39 56.68 79.44 55.21
Net Margin (%) 22.79 21.29 23.95 25.31 18.55
EPS 0.84 0.75 0.8 0.8 0.54
Return on Equity (%) 5.25 4.86 5.31 5.44 3.73
Return on Assets (%) 12.31 11.34 12.25 12.61 8.81

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Market Share Versus Profits

Revenues History
Earnings History

ADBE-US’s change in revenue this period compared to the same period last year of 26.08% is almost the same as its change in earnings, and is about average among the announced results thus far in its peer group, suggesting that ADBE-US is holding onto its market share. Also, for comparison purposes, revenues changed by 4.66% and earnings by 12.07% compared to the immediate last period.

Revenues Growth Versus Earnings Growth

Quadrant label definitions. Hover to know more

Leader, Earnings Focus, Laggard, Revenues Focus

Earnings Growth Analysis

The company’s earnings growth was influenced by year-on-year improvement in gross margins from 84.57% to 84.66% as well as better cost controls. As a result, operating margins (EBITDA margins) rose from 30.76% to 34.10% compared to the same period last year. For comparison, gross margins were 85.29% and EBITDA margins were 32.54% in the last reporting period.

Gross Margin Versus EBITDA Margin

Quadrant label definitions. Hover to know more

Differentiated; Low Cost, Commodity; Low Cost, Commodity; High Cost, Differentiated; High Cost

Gross Margin Trend

Companies sometimes sacrifice improvements in revenues and margins in order to extend friendlier terms to customers and vendors. Capital Cube probes for such activity by comparing the changes in gross margins with any changes in working capital. If the gross margins improved without a worsening of working capital, it is possible that the company’s performance is a result of truly delivering in the marketplace and not simply an accounting prop-up using the balance sheet.

Gross Margin History
Working Capital Days History

ADBE-US’s improvement in gross margin has been accompanied by an improvement in its balance sheet as well. This suggests that gross margin improvements are likely from operating decisions and not accounting gimmicks. Its working capital days are now 157.43 days compared to 179.69 days for the same period last year.

Gross Margin Versus Working Capital Days

Quadrant label definitions. Hover to know more

Customer Financed, Cash Starved, Supplier Financed, Cash Rich

Cash Versus Earnings – Sustainable Performance?

It is important to examine a company�s cash versus earnings numbers to gauge whether its performance is sustainable.

ADBE-US’s change in operating cash flow of 36.02% compared to the same period last year is about the same as its change in earnings this period. Additionally, this change in operating cash flow is about average among its peer group. This suggests that the company did not use accruals or reserves to manage earnings this period, and that, all else being equal, the earnings number is sustainable.

Operating Cash Flow Growth Versus Earnings Growth

Quadrant label definitions. Hover to know more

Cash Flow based Earnings, Likely Non-cash Earnings, Low Cash Flow Base, Likely Undeclared Earnings

Margins

The company’s earnings growth has also been influenced by the following factors: (1) Improvements in operating (EBIT) margins from 25.00% to 29.63% and (2) one-time items. The company’s pretax margins are now 29.41% compared to 24.40% for the same period last year.

EBIT Margin Versus PreTax Margin

Quadrant label definitions. Hover to know more

Operation driven Earnings, One-time Favorables, Low Earnings Base, One-time Unfavorables
EBIT Margin History
PreTax Margin History

Access our Ratings and Scores for Adobe Systems, Inc.

Company Profile

Adobe Systems, Inc. engages in the provision of digital marketing and digital media solutions. It operates through the following segments: Digital Media, Digital Marketing, and Print and Publishing. The Digital Media segment offers creative cloud services, which allow members to download and install the latest versions of products, such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe InDesign, as well as utilize other tools, such as Adobe Acrobat. The Digital Marketing segment offers solutions, including analytics, social marketing, targeting, media optimization, digital experience management, and cross-channel campaign management, as well as premium video delivery and monetization. The Print and Publishing segment offers legacy products and services for eLearning solutions, technical document publishing, web application development, and high-end printing. The company was founded by Charles M. Geschke and John E. Warnock in December 1982 and is headquartered in San Jose, CA.

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