(Repost) Bloomberg -- Adobe Signals AI Will Take Longer Than Expected to Boost Results

(Credit: transcribed by OpenAI Whisper)

Adobe Signals AI will take longer than expected to boost results. Adobe Inc. gave a lukewarm outlook for sales in 2024, disappointing investors who expected new generative artificial intelligence tools would boost the software company's results. Revenue will be about $21.4 billion in the fiscal year ending in December 2024, the company said Wednesday in a statement. Profit, excluding some items, will be as much as $18 a share. Analysts, on average, estimated sales of $21.7 billion and adjusted profit of $18 a share. Wall Street expects Adobe to be one of the first software giants to benefit from the excitement over generative AI technology, which responds to prompts by producing unique text or images. In recent months, the company has announced a new version of its AI model, Firefly, raised prices, and focused its October user conference on the technology. The company cited significant upsell of our new Firefly with large customers, according to remarks prepared for a conference call after the results. However, that enthusiasm was dashed by the annual outlook. Shares declined about 6% and extended trading after closing at $624.26 in New York. The stock had jumped 85% this year as investors appear very comfortable with Adobe's ability to monetize generative AI. Keith Weiss, an analyst at Morgan Stanley, wrote ahead of the results. New annual recurring revenue for Adobe's digital media unit, which includes signature creative software such as Photoshop and Illustrator, will be $1.9 billion, the company said. That compares with an average analyst estimate of $2.02 billion. In the fiscal fourth quarter, sales increased 12% to $5.05 billion. Profit, excluding some items, was $4.27 a share. The digital media unit posted sales that gained 13% to $3.72 billion and the period ended December 1. Revenue from the unit that includes marketing and analytics software rose 10% to $1.27 billion. Adobe announced more than a year ago that it planned to buy design software startup Figma Inc. The acquisition has been stalled by global regulatory reviews. Late last month, Adobe was working on remedy proposals to appease European regulators, while the U.S. Justice Department was said to be preparing a lawsuit to block the deal. The company said it strongly disagrees with the findings released by the U.K.'s competition regulator last month, and that it expects a decision soon from the Justice Department. Separately, Adobe disclosed in a filing that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has been investigating the company's subscription cancellation practices for more than a year. Settling this matter could involve significant monetary costs or penalties and could have a material impact on our financial results and operations, Adobe said.

Key Takeaways:

  • Subdued Financial Forecast for 2024: Adobe Inc.'s projected revenue and profit for 2024 are lower than expected, despite investor optimism about the impact of new generative AI tools like Firefly on the company's performance.

  • Stock Market Reaction and AI Expectations: Following the announcement of the lukewarm outlook, Adobe's stock price fell by about 6%, a setback after a significant rise earlier in the year driven by high expectations for its generative AI technology.

  • Regulatory and Legal Challenges: Adobe faces obstacles with its planned acquisition of Figma Inc., including global regulatory reviews and a U.S. Federal Trade Commission investigation into its subscription cancellation practices, which could have substantial financial implications.


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