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Adobe Beats Q2 FY2024 Estimates, Driven By Strong Demand for AI

Adobe Beats Q2 FY2024 Estimates, Driven By Strong Demand for AI

The News: Adobe’s second quarter fiscal year 2024 (Q2 FY2024) results marked a period of significant achievements and strategic advancements. The company reported record revenues for the three months ended May 31, 2024, driven by growth across its major product categories: Creative Cloud, Document Cloud, and Experience Cloud. Adobe’s innovative approach to integrating AI and enhancing product capabilities has attracted a broader customer base and increased the value provided to existing users.

Q2 FY2024 by the numbers:

  • Total Revenue: $5.31 billion, up 10% year over year. This growth signifies Adobe’s robust market presence and effective growth strategies, and it beat the analyst consensus estimate of $5.29 billion.
  • Digital Media Revenue: $3.91 billion, up 11% year-over-year. Driven by strong demand for Creative Cloud and Document Cloud offerings, this segment continues to be a core component of Adobe’s business model.
  • Non-GAAP EPS: $4.48, up 15% year-over-year, and above the analyst consensus estimate of $4.40 per share. The increase in non-GAAP EPS demonstrates Adobe’s ability to generate substantial earnings, excluding non-recurring expenses.
  • Net New Digital Media Annualized Recurring Revenue (ARR): $487 million. A strong ARR figure indicates healthy subscription growth and successful customer acquisition efforts.
  • Remaining Performance Obligations exiting the quarter were $17.86 billion.

Adobe’s Q3 FY2024 guidance projects total Revenue between $5.33 billion and $5.38 billion. Digital Media’s net new ARR is expected to be around $460 million. Non-GAAP EPS are projected to be between $4.50 and $4.55.

You can read the full press release on the Adobe website.

Adobe Beats Q2 FY2024 Estimates, Driven By Strong Demand for AI

Analyst Take: Adobe’s Q2 FY2024 results reflect the company’s strategic innovation and leadership in the digital media and experience markets. The company has successfully leveraged AI integration across its product lines, enhancing user experiences and productivity.

The company’s Creative Cloud software portfolio’s strong financial performance was powered by AI-powered tools like Firefly. These tools have transformed digital artistry by making advanced features more accessible and reducing the time it takes to generate and iterate ideas from conception to production. Document Cloud also performed strongly, introducing the Acrobat AI Assistant, which streamlines document interaction and boosts productivity.

The Digital Experience segment continues to help enterprises deliver personalized experiences at scale, showcasing Adobe’s ability to meet complex business needs. Through these advancements, Adobe has demonstrated its commitment to driving customer value and fostering creativity, solidifying its position as a market leader. The company’s strategic vision and innovative approach ensure it remains poised for continued growth and success in the evolving digital landscape.

Creative Cloud Breakthroughs: Redefining Digital Artistry

Creative Cloud remains a pivotal component of Adobe’s business, significantly contributing to the company’s Revenue, with $3.13 billion reported in Q2, marking an 11% year-over-year increase. Adobe’s strategic enhancements in this segment were driven by AI integration and feature updates to boost user experience and productivity.

Integrating Adobe’s proprietary Firefly generative AI models into Substance 3D has transformed how users create textures and materials, providing a seamless and intuitive workflow. The beta release of Premiere with new audio workflows has also garnered positive feedback, driving substantial usage and improving video production efficiency. Meanwhile, the launch of the all-new Adobe Express application on iOS and Android has seen its active users nearly double quarter over quarter, showcasing its growing popularity among non-professional creators.

Adobe’s focus on generative AI capabilities has introduced several groundbreaking product features. Generative Fill and Generative Expand in Photoshop and Generative Remove in Lightroom have quickly become some of the most utilized tools, indicating a strong demand for AI-enhanced creative processes. The deep integration of Firefly into these applications democratizes creativity and makes advanced tools accessible to a broader audience, from professional designers to casual creators.

Document Cloud: Enhancing Productivity with AI

Document Cloud also experienced robust growth, with Revenue reaching $782 million, a 19% year-over-year increase. Adobe focused on enhancing document productivity through innovative AI solutions and improved collaboration features.

The introduction of the Acrobat AI Assistant marked a significant milestone. This conversational AI engine is designed to interact with PDFs more effectively, allowing users to summarize documents, extract insights, and compose presentations, thereby significantly boosting productivity.

The rapid growth in Acrobat’s link-sharing feature for PDF collaboration, which more than doubled year-over-year, has driven viral adoption and increased user engagement. Additionally, the number of free monthly active users of Acrobat Web grew by 60%, supported by integrations with Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome, reflecting strong user demand and utility.

Adobe’s success in the SMB segment for its Teams offering, driven by seat expansion and new account wins, indicates the growing demand for Adobe’s collaborative tools among smaller businesses. Focusing on SMB customers is critical to fending off challenges from competitors such as Canva, which offers a strong portfolio of tools often available at a lower initial price than many of Adobe’s subscriptions.

This surge in adoption, coupled with crucial enterprise wins, including AstraZeneca, Chevron, and the State Government of Florida, further highlights the widespread adoption and trust in Adobe’s Document Cloud solutions across various industries and company sizes.

Transforming Enterprise Customer Engagement

The Digital Experience segment achieved $1.33 billion in Revenue, with subscription revenue at $1.20 billion, marking a 13% year-over-year growth. This segment provides enterprises with tools to deliver personalized experiences at scale, leveraging Adobe’s robust AI and data integration capabilities.

Adobe Experience Platform (AEP), now celebrating its fifth anniversary, has become a cornerstone of Adobe’s Digital Experience portfolio. The AEP AI Assistant enhances marketing productivity through generative AI, allowing for more efficient task automation and audience generation. Innovations announced at the Adobe Summit, such as Adobe Journey Optimizer B2B Edition and Federated Audience Composition, cater to B2B and B2C customers, showcasing Adobe’s versatility in addressing diverse market needs.

Adobe has also introduced GenStudio, a tool suite designed to streamline enterprises’ content supply chain. GenStudio includes contextual search in Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) Assets, Adobe Workfront Planning, and AEM Generate Variations, all aimed at accelerating content creation and personalization. These tools enable enterprises to manage their content more effectively, delivering personalized web experiences at scale.

Key customer wins in this segment during the quarter include Amazon, British Telecom, and Mercedes-Benz, reflecting Adobe’s leadership in the digital experience market. These wins underscore the company’s ability to provide comprehensive solutions that meet the complex needs of large enterprises, driving significant business value.

Strategic Outlook and Future Targets

Adobe has succeeded this quarter by executing its strategy of integrating AI across its portfolio, including Premier Pro, Animate, and After Effects. Adobe continues to focus on incorporating even more AI capabilities within other products, such as Photoshop. The strong customer adoption of its Firefly AI tools is helping the company fend off challenges from competitors such as Canva, Midjourney, and Stability AI.

While the company has made some missteps, mainly around messaging relating to how it may use or analyze customer data, it reiterated again its stance that it does not train its models on company data and only uses licensed content or content in the public domain to train its AI models. Its customers have not lost faith; strong revenue growth from the enterprise customer base is evidence of that assertion.

Given the strong performance in the year’s first half, Adobe has raised its annual targets for Digital Media net new ARR, Digital Experience subscription revenue, and EPS. The company’s updated fiscal year 2024 targets include:

  • Total Revenue: $21.40 billion to $21.50 billion
  • Digital Media Net New ARR: Approximately $1.95 billion
  • Non-GAAP EPS: $18.00 to $18.20

Adobe’s forward-looking statements reflect confidence in continued growth driven by its diversified business model, strong market position, and ongoing innovation in AI and product capabilities. As Adobe continues to innovate and execute its product roadmap, we expect growth to continue over the next few quarters based on the company’s robust portfolio, solid AI feature integration strategy, and long history of providing enterprise-grade tools and products.

Daniel Newman and his co-host of The Six Five Webcast, Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights and Strategy discusses Adobe’s earnings in their latest episode. Check it out here and be sure to subscribe to The Six Five Webcast so you never miss an episode.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

Other Insights from The Futurum Group:

Adobe Announces Firefly Image 3 Model and Photoshop Enhancements

Adobe’s Use of Midjourney

Incorporating Generated Images into Adobe’s Firefly Model

Author Information

Keith has over 25 years of experience in research, marketing, and consulting-based fields.

He has authored in-depth reports and market forecast studies covering artificial intelligence, biometrics, data analytics, robotics, high performance computing, and quantum computing, with a specific focus on the use of these technologies within large enterprise organizations and SMBs. He has also established strong working relationships with the international technology vendor community and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and events.

In his career as a financial and technology journalist he has written for national and trade publications, including BusinessWeek, CNBC.com, Investment Dealers’ Digest, The Red Herring, The Communications of the ACM, and Mobile Computing & Communications, among others.

He is a member of the Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP).

Keith holds dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Magazine Journalism and Sociology from Syracuse University.

Daniel is the CEO of The Futurum Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise.

From the leading edge of AI to global technology policy, Daniel makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology investments. Daniel is a top 5 globally ranked industry analyst and his ideas are regularly cited or shared in television appearances by CNBC, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal and hundreds of other sites around the world.

A 7x Best-Selling Author including his most recent book “Human/Machine.” Daniel is also a Forbes and MarketWatch (Dow Jones) contributor.

An MBA and Former Graduate Adjunct Faculty, Daniel is an Austin Texas transplant after 40 years in Chicago. His speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.

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