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Adobe shares soar after Fotolia buy, Creative Cloud jump


Picture illustration shows Adobe company logos,   in Vienna
Shares in Photoshop maker Adobe Systems Inc soared to lifetime highs on Friday, a day after it announced plans to buy stock photography company Fotolia for $800 million and a quarterly jump in subscribers of Creative Cloud.

The stock rose more than 10 percent, trading at $76.70 per share as of 1733 GMT as several brokerages published raised price targets.

The company said it would integrate Fotolia, which offers royalty-free stock photos and video, with CreativeCloud to raise its average revenue per user, while Fotolia will continue as a standalone service.

U.S. private equity firm KKR bought a 50-percent stake in Fotolia in 2012 for $150 million, a person familiar with the transaction said.

Adobe is being helped by demand from corporate customers. Chief Financial Officer Mark Garrett told Reuters deals with were “getting bigger and bigger”.

Garrett added that Adobe, which loses about a third of its revenue through pirated software, is considering a number of options to combat piracy including making products such as Adobe’s Photoshop available only to users who log into the cloud.

The company said it added 644, 000 new Creative Cloud subscriptions in the fourth quarter which ended on Nov. 28 but noted seasonal factors would trim growth in the current quarter.

“(It) is very typical for software companies because software purchasers have been trained to buy software at the end of the quarter and at the end of the fiscal year. That’s when you get the best deals, ” Brendan Barnicle, an analyst at Pacific Crest Securities, told Reuters.

Adobe has been switching to web-based subscription for itsCreative Suite 6 from traditional box licences to attract a morepredictable recurring revenue.

Online subscriptions let customers access the latest versions of software for a monthly payment.

The company said it expected an adjusted profit of34-40 cents per share on revenue of $1.05 billion-$1.10 billion for the first quarter ending Feb. 28. (

Analysts on average were expecting 39 cents per share inprofit on $1.10 billion in revenue, according to Thomson ReutersI/B/E/S.

Adobe’s fourth-quarter net income rose to $73.3 million, or14 cents per share, from $65.3 million, or 13 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 36 cents per share, highe than the analysts’ estimate of 30 cents per share.

Revenue rose to $1.07 billion, while analysts had expected$1.06 billion.



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