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solzberg in Gainers & Losers,

Shares of Adobe to hit $120 in medium term

I remain upbeat about the shares of Adobe Systems (ADBE), a diversified software company. Recently, the company announced that its board had approved a new $2.5 bn share repurchase program that can be executed through the end of fiscal 2019. I positively value Adobe’s strong capital management policy, as it is a good way of building investors’ confidence. I also note that such initiatives of the company are well supported by its solid balance sheet and healthy cash flow generation, which in turn is driven by sustained solid operational performance.

Adobe’s financials for its fiscal 2016 fourth quarter ended Dec 2 were strong. Revenues increased 23.1% y-o-y to a record $1.61 bn, with subscription comprised around 79% of total FQ4 sales, up 39.2% from the year-ago period. Revenues from Digital Media Solutions came in at $1.08 bn, with Creative revenues growing 33% to $886 mn. Strong Creative Cloud and Document Cloud adoption drove Digital Media annualized recurring revenues (used to track the performance of the company's subscriptions) to $4.01 bn at the end of FQ4, a q-o-q increase of $316 mn. Adjusted operating income rose 43.7% to $589.7 mn, and operating margin improved 530 basis points to 36.7%. Adjusted earnings per share jumped 45.2% to 90 cents beating analysts’ average projection by 4 cents.

During FQ4, Adobe also announced the acquisition of TubeMogul, a video advertising platform, for $540 mn. TubeMogul is a leading provider of video demand-side platform (DSP) that enables advertisers to plan, buy and measure video ads across mobile, desktops, television and streaming devices. The deal is expected to further strengthen Adobe’s foothold in the digital marketing space. It will enable advertisers to capitalize on online video campaigns, thereby expanding the company’s offerings. Moreover, with this acquisition, Adobe can further distinguish its Marketing Cloud offering from the likes of Salesforce, IBM, Oracle.

For fiscal 2017, Adobe expects adjusted earnings per share of $3.75 (up 25% y-o-y) on revenues of $6.95 bn (up 23%). To note, management reduced top-line forecast from $7 bn announced earlier citing strengthening dollar, while bottom-line guidance remained intact. At the same time, this guidance does not include effects from the acquisition of TubeMogul.

Shares of Adobe are testing $110 resistance level. I'd buy on breaking it, with medium-term target at $120.