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Adobe shares drop nearly 14% on weak quarterly revenue guidance

2 months ago 70

Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen speaks during an interview with CNBC on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange in New York City, Feb. 20, 2024.

Brendan Mcdermid | Reuters

Adobe shares closed down nearly 14% on Friday after the company reported first-quarter results that beat estimates but delivered a light quarterly revenue forecast.

The move marked the stock's steepest decline since Sept. 15, 2022, when shares closed down 16.8%.

The design software company posted adjusted earnings per share of $4.48, above the $4.38 analysts were expecting, according to LSEG, formerly known as Refinitiv. Its revenue of $5.18 billion exceeded the $5.14 billion analysts estimated.

For the current quarter, Adobe expects adjusted earnings per share of $4.35 to $4.40, while analysts were expecting $4.38. It said revenue will total $5.25 billion to $5.30 billion, slightly below the $5.31 billion estimated. The company also announced a $25 billion share buyback.

Adobe also recently launched an artificial intelligence assistant for its Reader and Acrobat applications that can help users digest information from long PDF documents.

Bank of America analysts lowered their price target for Adobe shares to $640 from $700 and reiterated their buy rating of the stock, expressing optimism about Firefly, the company's generative AI image creation tool.

"No change to our view that Adobe is a major AI beneficiary," the analysts wrote in an investor note Thursday. "While the monetization ramp is slower than anticipated, Firefly is one of the [most] widely used generative AI offerings, with potential for multiple paths to monetization."

Barclays dropped its price target for shares of Adobe to $630 from $700 while maintaining an overweight rating for the stock. Its analysts wrote Friday that they expect the stock to recover and "would be buying this dip because pricing is masking the underlying strength in Creative Cloud."

Analysts at Morgan Stanley kept their overweight rating and $660 price target on Adobe stock, writing Friday that "more patience is likely warranted."

"A smaller than expected beat in Digital Media Net New ARR likely increases investor concerns around competitive pressures," the analysts wrote. "However a growing number of vectors for monetizing GenAI and new monetizable solutions coming online in 2H24 should help improve the narrative going forward."

— CNBC's Jordan Novet contributed to this report.

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