Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) continues to prove why it is one of Wall Street’s favorite investments. On March 15, the creative software maker announced strong Q1 results as the company delivered broad-based sales growth, lifting Adobe stock. Specifically, ADBE reported record revenue of $2.6 billion, up 25% year-over-year.
A big winner over the past several years, ADBE still remains on track to produce consistent growth for the foreseeable future. However, this week has once again reminded investors what volatility due to political uncertainty, such as the U.S-China trade wars, may mean for their portfolios. Therefore Adobe stock price might be weak in the short-term, especially between now and June 18, when the company is slated to report its Q2 earnings.
Adobe Stock Thrives on Strong Fundamentals
ADBE reports the revenue of two of its segments: Digital Media and Digital Experience.
The Digital Media segment includes revenues from Adobe Creative Cloud (CC) and Adobe Document Cloud. In recent years, Creative Cloud’s revenues have increased by high double-digit percentage levels, driven by increases in subscriptions by both B2C and B2B customers In Q1, the Digital Media segment’s revenue was $1.78 billion, while Creative’s revenue jumped to $1.49 billion and Document Cloud reached record revenue of $282 million.
The Digital Experience segment includes Adobe Experience Cloud, which offers a range of cloud-based tools for marketing, advertising, analytics and content management. Customers use these tools to better manage their marketing initiatives. This segment has been been adding more enterprise customers to its ecosystem. Its Q1 revenue rose 34% year-over-year to $743 million.
Many analysts agree that Adobe’s 2018 acquisition of Marketo, a marketing software and e-commerce platform, as well as Magento Commerce, a market-leading e-commerce platform, has helped ADBE grow its market share in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and become a digital-marketing platform leader.
Going forward, ADBE has enough cash on hand to finance more potential acquisitions to fuel the growth of its digital-experience segment.
ADBE’s Subscription Model Has Boosted Adobe Stock Price
Adobe’s flagship software products for video, graphic and audio content creation include Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat and Dreamveawer. In 2012, when Adobe first announced that it had switched from a software- licensing model for Adobe Creative Cloud to a monthly subscription-based model, Wall Street was not sure as to how this radical approach would affect Adobe stock price.
Overall, Adobe offers powerful solutions that face little competition. As a result, many customers decided to move to Adobe’s subscription cloud solutions because there was no real alternative. The subscription model has enabled Adobe to achieve high gross margins and raise its prices without losing customers.
Fast forward to 2019, and investors realize that the significant risk that Adobe has taken has paid off: Users, the company and investors are all happy with the subscription model.
Users always have the latest versions of Adobe’s software, ADBE does not have to persuade customers to buy a newer version every few years, and the owners of Adobe stock have been thrilled with its recurring, stable income;, asabout 85% of ADBE’s revenue now comes from subscriptions.
As ADBE offers more cloud-based products, Wall Street is expecting the company’s dominance and revenue to grow. So far, most of ADBE’s revenue has come from the U.S. But Wall Street believes the company can easily grow its businesses in both Asia and Europe, adding to the current $3 billion of annual revenue that ADBE obtains from these regions.
Investors also believe that Adobe will be able to push deeper into customer relationship management (CRM) through Sensei, its artificial intelligence (AI) platform, boosting its top line and Adobe stock .
Adobe’s strengths are not limited to its robust financial results. Management has also been taking important steps to make the company a leader in the content-creation space.
Since 2016, Adobe has had a powerful partnership with Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) cloud business, Azure. The two companies work together to provide cloud-based data to enterprises.
Additionally, Adobe’s Experience Cloud and Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM platform will be integrated with Microsoft’s LinkedIn. Pooling Adobe platform’s data with Microsoft’s tools could cause the gains of Adobe stock to accelerate.
The strong and unique collaboration between Adobe and Microsoft has fueled rumors that Microsoft may purchase Adobe as early as 2020. Many analysts increasingly believe that Microsoft is looking at Adobe as more than just a partner. If MSFT does buy ADBE, the owners of Adobe stock are likely to be rewarded handsomely.
The Bottom Line on Adobe Stock
ADBE is the dominant player in the cloud-based software market. Adobe stock is a winning name that many investors are likely to stick with. Within two to three years, investors who buy Adobe stock are likely to be rewarded handsomely. By then, ADBE could become a takeover target.
Tech stocks may continue to be volatile in May, and I would not advocate trying to identify stocks that could be immune to a U.S.-China trade war. In the past few trading days, ADBE stock price is down almost 10%.
But if Adobe stock price declines further, long-term investors may find Adobe stock particularly attractive. I believe Adobe stock price is likely to find major support between $250 and $260.
As of this writing, Tezcan Gecgil did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.