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Adobe reports record Q4 and fiscal 2020 revenue

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Adobe (Nasdaq:ADBE) today reported financial results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended Nov. 27, 2020. In its fourth quarter of fiscal year 2020, Adobe achieved record quarterly revenue of $3.42 billion, which represents 14 percent year-over-year growth. In fiscal year 2020, Adobe achieved record annual revenue of $12.87 billion, which represents 15 percent year-over-year growth.

“Adobe delivered record Q4 and FY20 revenue performance amidst an unprecedented macroeconomic environment,” said Shantanu Narayen, president and CEO, Adobe. “As the undisputed leader in three growing categories – creativity, digital documents and customer experience management – we are well-positioned to capture the massive market opportunity ahead of us in 2021 and beyond.”

“The resilience of our business, our operational discipline and ability to derive insights from real-time data has enabled us to thrive in 2020,” said John Murphy, executive vice president and CFO, Adobe. “Our record Q4 cash flow demonstrates the strength of our operating model, and we look forward to delivering strong top- and bottom-line growth in 2021.”

Segment Reporting Update

In its fourth quarter of fiscal year 2020, Adobe created a new segment called “Publishing and Advertising,” which combines the Publishing segment with Advertising Cloud, which was previously included in the Digital Experience segment. This realignment resulted from a change Adobe made in the fourth quarter to the way the company manages its Digital Experience business to better reflect the strategic shift related to Advertising Cloud and to align with our overall core value proposition of delivering on customer experience management. Advertising Cloud revenue and cost of revenue has been reclassified on the income statement from “Subscription” to “Services and other.” Financial information for fiscal years 2018, 2019 and 2020 has been revised to maintain comparability.

Fourth Quarter Fiscal Year 2020 Financial Highlights

  • Adobe achieved record quarterly revenue of $3.42 billion in its fourth quarter of fiscal year 2020, which represents 14 percent year-over-year growth. Diluted earnings per share was $4.64 on a GAAP basis, and $2.81 on a non-GAAP basis.
  • Digital Media segment revenue was $2.50 billion, which represents 20 percent year-over-year growth. Creative revenue grew to $2.08 billion and Document Cloud revenue grew to $411 million. Digital Media Annualized Recurring Revenue (“ARR”) grew to $10.18 billion exiting the quarter, a quarter-over-quarter increase of $548 million. Creative ARR grew to $8.72 billion, and Document Cloud ARR grew to $1.46 billion.
  • Digital Experience segment revenue, including Advertising Cloud revenue, was $877 million.
  • Following the segment reporting change, Digital Experience segment revenue was $819 million, representing 10 percent year-over-year growth. Digital Experience subscription revenue grew 14 percent year-over-year.
  • GAAP operating income in the fourth quarter was $1.22 billion, and non-GAAP operating income was $1.54 billion. GAAP net income was $2.25 billion, and non-GAAP net income was $1.36 billion.
  • Cash flows from operations were a record $1.78 billion.
  • Remaining Performance Obligation (“RPO”) exiting the quarter was $11.34 billion.
  • Adobe repurchased approximately 1.6 million shares during the quarter.

Fiscal Year 2020 Financial Highlights

  • Adobe achieved record annual revenue of $12.87 billion in fiscal year 2020, representing 15 percent year-over-year growth.
  • The company reported annual GAAP diluted earnings per share of $10.83 and non-GAAP diluted earnings per share of $10.10.
  • Digital Media segment revenue was $9.23 billion, representing 20 percent year-over-year growth. Creative and Document Cloud achieved record annual revenue of $7.74 billion and $1.50 billion, respectively. Digital Media ARR grew by $1.85 billion during the year.
  • Digital Experience segment revenue, including Advertising Cloud, was $3.40 billion.
  • Following the segment reporting change, Digital Experience segment revenue was $3.13 billion, representing 12 percent year-over-year growth. Digital Experience subscription revenue grew 17 percent year-over-year.
  • Operating income grew 30 percent and net income grew 78 percent year-over-year on a GAAP-basis; operating income grew 24 percent and net income grew 27 percent year-over-year on a non-GAAP basis.
  • Adobe generated a record $5.73 billion in operating cash flows during the year.
  • The company repurchased 8.0 million shares during the year, returning $3.0 billion of cash to stockholders.

A reconciliation between GAAP and non-GAAP results is provided at the end of this press release and on Adobe’s website.

gmon750

EOS 90D
CR Pro
Jan 30, 2015
126
79
It's amazing how Adobe thrives while the world is in a pandemic. How many of us freelancers are teetering on collapse but they're having record revenues?

Are you saying that freelancers should not have to pay for software that helps them make money?
 

YuengLinger

Godzilla needs boxing lessons.
CR Pro
Dec 20, 2012
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Last edited:
May 18, 2015
2
1
Adobe who? I've moved on to Affinity Photo. I still need to learn it like I knew PS but for as much as I used PS it made perfect sense to make switch. It does 100% of what I need and probably will for 99% of you. I love how Adobe is a billion dollar company now and can't give the starving artists a break with pricing during a year pandemic and lost jobs. Sad Adobe sad..
 
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LDS

EOS 5D Mark IV
Sep 14, 2012
1,712
247
How many of us freelancers are teetering on collapse but they're having record revenues?

Look at the bright side of subscriptions (from Adobe POV) - even if your business is on the verge of collapsing you still have to pay Adobe or your tools will mostly stop working and will put you in an even worse situation. You Canon cameras and lenses will still keep on working fully even if you didn't buy an R5 and a batch of RF lenses, but your Adobe software won't. If you have stored images on its cloud, they could be deleted if you don't keep on paying.

I know a couple of video agencies that have been hit hard by the pandemic here since their usual customers cut most of the work they usually assign them. more even so for the Xmas period, but still have to pay Adobe software to avoid to be hindered to work wholly. That's the main reason I don't like subscriptions - they look good when the money keep rollin' in - the problem is when they don't.
 

privatebydesign

EOS-1D X Mark III
CR Pro
Jan 29, 2011
9,695
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Look at the bright side of subscriptions (from Adobe POV) - even if your business is on the verge of collapsing you still have to pay Adobe or your tools will mostly stop working and will put you in an even worse situation. You Canon cameras and lenses will still keep on working fully even if you didn't buy an R5 and a batch of RF lenses, but your Adobe software won't. If you have stored images on its cloud, they could be deleted if you don't keep on paying.

I know a couple of video agencies that have been hit hard by the pandemic here since their usual customers cut most of the work they usually assign them. more even so for the Xmas period, but still have to pay Adobe software to avoid to be hindered to work wholly. That's the main reason I don't like subscriptions - they look good when the money keep rollin' in - the problem is when they don't.
For most people here you are talking about $7.50 a month, the price of a couple of coffees, are you seriously suggesting that is the straw that breaks the camels back? I’d put the horrific cost of health insurance hundreds of dollars a month above that, or how about a $60+ a month phone plan, or cable tv with virtually no options for $45 a month if you also buy other services you don’t want or barely work at the same rate. How about $130 a ticket for a single day at Disney, that is more than it costs for a year of the leading professional imaging software.

But Adobe are far from the only business software that is subscription based, in fact in the business arena Adobe stand out as setting their subscription fees at a very low price point.
 

msatter

EOS 90D
Oct 23, 2012
141
1
It is really cheap comparing it with buying a Ferrari or running a racing team. Ican'tunderstand why not every one is rent Adobe software. It is that cheap rven if you don't need it at all.
 

LDS

EOS 5D Mark IV
Sep 14, 2012
1,712
247
For most people here you are talking about $7.50 a month,

I was talking about professionals buying higher priced SKUs for several users. Which could be in serious troubles because they have to decide which expenses to defer to stay afloat while trying to keep working, and don't fire people. Luckily we don't have to pay for health insurance here because we have universal care, but that also means taxes are not low (still, you get healthcare even when you lose your job). This is a time when revenues quickly moved towards zero for some businesses.
 

privatebydesign

EOS-1D X Mark III
CR Pro
Jan 29, 2011
9,695
4,256
I was talking about professionals buying higher priced SKUs for several users. Which could be in serious troubles because they have to decide which expenses to defer to stay afloat while trying to keep working, and don't fire people. Luckily we don't have to pay for health insurance here because we have universal care, but that also means taxes are not low (still, you get healthcare even when you lose your job). This is a time when revenues quickly moved towards zero for some businesses.
I really don’t see why that is Adobe’s problem. Business expenses are business expenses and as far as they go an Adobe subscription amounts to a tiny part of any business overhead, rent, insurance, payroll taxes etc all account for a much larger share of a businesses income than a software subscription.

I understand what you are getting at, I just think it is misplaced. Nobody is crucifying Amazon or Home DEpcot because their profits are up.
 

snappy604

EOS RP
CR Pro
Jan 25, 2017
542
409
For most people here you are talking about $7.50 a month, the price of a couple of coffees, are you seriously suggesting that is the straw that breaks the camels back? I’d put the horrific cost of health insurance hundreds of dollars a month above that, or how about a $60+ a month phone plan, or cable tv with virtually no options for $45 a month if you also buy other services you don’t want or barely work at the same rate. How about $130 a ticket for a single day at Disney, that is more than it costs for a year of the leading professional imaging software.

But Adobe are far from the only business software that is subscription based, in fact in the business arena Adobe stand out as setting their subscription fees at a very low price point.

for me its the whole licensing/rental model (more specifically in software) whether it's adobe or other companies.. dislike it on principle, not necessarily because of adobe or price etc. Mostly it comes from dealing with enterprise grade licensing schemas and often how underhanded they are (looking at you Oracle, but you're not alone).
 

YuengLinger

Godzilla needs boxing lessons.
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Dec 20, 2012
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I'm saying that perhaps they should adjust their pricing to fit the economic climate.
I visited your website. Your work is outstanding. I hope that you make it through the trying months ahead and flourish again.

Personally, I see the USA headed towards anything but a kinder, gentler form of socialism. I lived under a totalitarian government, as have many of my friends and family, and we see clear signs that the USA is learning the wrong lessons from the worst players, past and present. In many cases, I can no longer see any daylight between large corporations and our government.

In the meantime, stay fit, get rest, sunshine, exercise; avoid processed foods, eat lots of greens and fresh fruit, take vitamins; cherish every moment with the important people in your life; and don't swim against a raging current, but instead navigate the white water while trying not to smash against rocks.
 
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Starting out EOS R

EOS R5 - RF24-105mm F4L, RF70-200mm f2.8L
Feb 13, 2020
294
314
Congratulations Adobe. At least there's one company doing well. However, there's always a however. Any chance you could make Lightroom classic suitable as a native programme for the Mac M1 and it would be great if the profiles were there for the R5.

Maybe asking too much?
 

privatebydesign

EOS-1D X Mark III
CR Pro
Jan 29, 2011
9,695
4,256
Congratulations Adobe. At least there's one company doing well. However, there's always a however. Any chance you could make Lightroom classic suitable as a native programme for the Mac M1 and it would be great if the profiles were there for the R5.

Maybe asking too much?
They will make it M1 native as it is the future for all Macs. As to the profiles, I don’t think anything Adobe will put out will keep everybody happy. I have spent the past three months working on a profiling project and getting 90% of the way takes 5 minutes, getting 95% takes a few days, getting more is taking months and a far greater understanding of matrices and the perverse way colors are generated and measured. It turns out the more reference patches you try to match the worse the trade offs are for some other colors and reverse engineering the whole thing is far from straightforwards.