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Is Adobe stock a buy right now?


AdobeAdobe (Adobe Stock Quote, Chart, News, Analysts NASDAQ:ADBE) has been a money-maker for years, but there’s no reason to assume the good times are behind it. According to portfolio manager Kim Bolton, not only are Adobe’s growth projections enviable but the stock can still be bought at a relatively affordable price.

“Adobe is currently trading at just over $500 and we have a price target of $557, and yes we own it,” said Bolton, president of Black Swan Dexteritas, who spoke on BNN Bloomberg last Wednesday. “This is … a long term hold; however, if it gets to that $557 we’ll definitely be taking some profit while looking for new entry points.”

“It does have quite a bit of support. It has some support down at $470 and then down at $450 and definitely at $440,” Bolton said.

A number of companies have benefitted from the work-at-home environment established in 2020, the year of the pandemic, with multimedia and creative content software business Adobe clearly being one of them.

Earlier in December, the company released its fiscal fourth quarter 2020 results showing a 14-per-cent year-over-year increase in revenue for the quarter and a 15-per-cent uptick for the full fiscal 2020. The company’s digital media segment led the way, surpassing the $10-billion mark in annual recurring revenue and growing at a 20-per-cent clip compared to a year earlier.

“Adobe delivered record Q4 and FY20 revenue performance amidst an unprecedented macroeconomic environment,” said Shantanu Narayen, president and CEO, in a press release on December 10. “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.”

Adobe’s Q4 numbers arrived better than expected, hitting revenue of $3.42 billion and adjusted EPS of $2.81 per share, which were both above analysts’ consensus estimates at $3.36 billion and $2.66 per share, respectively. The look ahead was also impressive, with management guiding for fiscal 2021 earnings of $11.20 per share on sales of $15.15 billion compared to analysts’ expected forecast of $11.17 per share on a topline of $14.78 billion.

Even as COVID-19 took a bite out of many businesses and their respective plans for product and infrastructure upgrades during 2020, the wider sectoral theme continues to be the digital transformation of business, encompassing all aspects of a company’s operations, and with Adobe playing a role in that movement, including with its onboarding of more SaaS-based services.

“As many software companies have, Adobe has moved to a subscription methodology for their software and sales,” said another fund manager recently, Paul Harris of Harris Douglas Asset Management, in conversation with BNN Bloomberg on Friday. “And they have a lot of room for more people to migrate to that model.”

“The digitization of our workflow is going to continue to happen, and Adobe is a very sweet spot in that … which is going to continue to happen in a really big way, even if you move back to the office,” Harris said.

Coming off a 2019 where Adobe’s share price climbed 45 per cent, the stock is set for big gains in 2020 as well, currently sitting at a return of 52 per cent for the year.

Bolton gives a trio of reasons why investors should be looking at Adobe for the year ahead.

“First, Adobe is a one-stop shop when it comes to product design and content creation, marketing and web and mobile commerce. [It has] fantastic earnings per share growth, with the rate for Adobe at 53 per cent, and investors should actually focus on the projected growth,” Bolton said.

“Number two, the year-over-year cash flow growth for Adobe is 27.5 per cent which is actually higher than the industry average at around 8.5 per cent. Remember, high cash accumulation enables Adobe to undertake new projects without raising expensive outside funds,” he said.

“Number three, the current year earnings estimates for Adobe have been revising upwards and there is a strong correlation between trends and earnings estimate revisions in their near term stock price movements,” Bolton said.

“So, This is just a fantastic company, and it actually graphs nicely so you know where to buy it,” Bolton said. “And I think you would actually have an opportunity if you don’t own it right now to perhaps pick it up around $470, all the way down to about $440, with a price target of $557.”

Adobe received a similarly bullish take after its latest earnings from Barclays analyst Saket Kalia who delivered a report to clients on December 11 where the analyst reiterated a “Buy” rating and price target of $605.00. BMO Capital Markets analyst Keith Bachman also kept his “Outperform” rating for Adobe in a December 11 report while raising his target from $560 to $570 per share.

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About The Author /

Jayson is a writer, researcher and educator with a PhD in political philosophy from the University of Ottawa. His interests range from bioethics and innovations in the health sciences to governance, social justice and the history of ideas.
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