Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) Reports Sales Inline With Analyst Estimates In Q3 Earnings, Stock Drops

Radek Strnad /
2022/09/15 8:16 am EDT

Creative software maker Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) reported results inline with analyst expectations in Q3 FY2022 quarter, with revenue up 12.6% year on year to $4.43 billion. Guidance for the next quarter missed analyst expectations with revenues guided to $4.52 billion at the midpoint, or 1.7% below analyst estimates. Adobe made a GAAP profit of $1.13 billion, down on its profit of $1.21 billion, in the same quarter last year.

Is now the time to buy Adobe? Access our full analysis of the earnings results here, it's free.

Adobe (ADBE) Q3 FY2022 Highlights:

  • Revenue: $4.43 billion vs analyst estimates of $4.43 billion (inline)
  • EPS (non-GAAP): $3.40 vs analyst estimates of $3.34 (1.65% beat)
  • Revenue guidance for Q4 2022 is $4.52 billion at the midpoint, below analyst estimates of $4.59 billion
  • Free cash flow of $1.57 billion, down 17.5% from previous quarter
  • Gross Margin (GAAP): 87.6%, in line with same quarter last year
  • Adobe has announced it has entered into a definitive merger agreement to acquire Figma for ~$20 billion in cash and stock

“Fueled by our groundbreaking technology, track record of creating and leading categories and consistent execution, Adobe delivered another record quarter,” said Shantanu Narayen, chairman and CEO, Adobe.

One of the most well-known Silicon Valley software companies around, Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) is a leading provider of software as service in the digital design and document management space.

The demand for rich, interactive 2D, 3D, VR and AR experiences is growing, and while the ubiquitous metaverse might still be more of a buzzword than a real thing, what is real is the demand for the tools to create these experiences, whether they are games or interactive movies.

Sales Growth

As you can see below, Adobe's revenue growth has been over the last two years, growing from quarterly revenue of $3.22 billion, to $4.43 billion.

Adobe Total Revenue

This quarter, Adobe's quarterly revenue was once again up 12.6% year on year. But the growth did slow down compared to last quarter, as the revenue increased by just $47 million in Q3, compared to $124 million in Q2 2022. We'd like to see revenue increase by a greater amount each quarter, but a one-off fluctuation is usually not concerning.

Guidance for the next quarter indicates Adobe is expecting revenue to grow 9.97% year on year to $4.52 billion, slowing down from the 20% year-over-year increase in revenue the company had recorded in the same quarter last year. Ahead of the earnings results the analysts covering the company were estimating sales to grow 13.1% over the next twelve months.

In volatile times like these we look for robust businesses with strong pricing power. Unknown to most investors, this company is one of the highest-quality software companies in the world, and their software products have been the default standard in critical industries for decades. The result is an impressive business that is up an incredible 18,152% since the IPO. You can find it on our platform for free.


What makes the software as a service business so attractive is that once the software is developed, it typically shouldn't cost much to provide it as an ongoing service to customers. Adobe's gross profit margin, an important metric measuring how much money there is left after paying for servers, licenses, technical support and other necessary running expenses was at 87.6% in Q3.

Adobe Gross Margin (GAAP)

That means that for every $1 in revenue the company had $0.87 left to spend on developing new products, marketing & sales and the general administrative overhead. This is a great gross margin, that allows companies like Adobe to fund large investments in product and sales during periods of rapid growth and be profitable when they reach maturity. It is good to see that the gross margin is staying stable which indicates that Adobe is doing a good job controlling costs and is not under pressure from competition to lower prices.

Key Takeaways from Adobe's Q3 Results

Sporting a market capitalization of $173 billion, more than $5.76 billion in cash and with positive free cash flow over the last twelve months, we're confident that Adobe has the resources it needs to pursue a high growth business strategy.

We liked to see that Adobe beat analysts’ earnings expectations pretty strongly this quarter. That feature of these results really stood out as a positive. On the other hand, it was unfortunate to see that the revenue guidance for the next quarter missed analysts' expectations and the revenue growth was quite weak. Overall, this quarter's results were not the best we've seen from Adobe. The company is down 7.27% on the results and currently trades at $344.62 per share.

Adobe may have had a tough quarter, but does that actually create an opportunity to invest right now? It is important that you take into account its valuation and business qualities, as well as what happened in the latest quarter. We look at that in our actionable report which you can read here, it's free.

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The author has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.