Adobe Price Estimate Revised To $50.78

by Trefis Team
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Quick Take

  • We are encouraged by the adoption of Adobe’s Cloud services across three of its most important divisions, namely Creative, Marketing and Acrobat family
  • We have introduced new sections such as Creative Cloud that capture the growth in Adobe’s cloud services.
  • We have also increased our forecast for the number of subscribers for Adobe’s Creative and document cloud services, as well as the average price per subscriber. As a result, we have revised our price target to $50.78
  • We expect that Adobe’s expansion to new markets and geographies through the cloud will lead to a substantial growth in the number of cloud subscribers.
  • We also expect that adoption of cloud services will negatively impact the revenues from its smaller divisions.

We have upgraded our price estimate for Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) from $41.12 to $50.78, based on the strong adoption of its cloud offering across its Creative, Marketing and Acrobat divisions. In our model update, we have introduced two new segments, namely the Creative Cloud and Acrobat Cloud. We expect that the growth momentum for its cloud offering will continue to drive the company’s revenues in the near future. Furthermore, we have also increased the profit margin estimates as cloud delivery of software entails lower costs.  Despite the price revision, our stock price estimate is 15% below the current market price.  In this article, we will discuss the drivers for our new price estimate.

Check out our complete analysis of Adobe

Drivers For Price Revision

Creative Cloud To Drive Growth

Subscription At Creative Cloud To Grow: According to our estimate, the Creative Cloud (CC) division is the biggest of Adobe’s operating segment and makes up approximately 55% of the company’s value. Adobe launched creative cloud services during Q4 2012. Furthermore, in May this year, the company moved away from Creative Suite (CS) entirely to focus its efforts on developing Creative Cloud (CC). These moves have resulted in robust adoption of CC subscription. While the company has added 1.4 million subscribers to its CC services in 2013, we expect rapid adoption of this service to continue in the near term. We estimate that the company is well underway to add 3 million subscribers in 2014, and on track to add 9.3 million subscribers by the end of our forecast period. This figure represent 70% of the current 12.8 million point and suite licensees, and 85% of the projected trial users of CC. However, if subscription were to grow at a slower rate to 7.5 million, our stock price estimate can decline by 15%.

Average Revenue Per Subscriber To Grow: Average revenue per subscriber (ARPS) for the company consists of a blend of subscribers that have enrolled to different levels of cloud services. While access to the complete Creative Cloud suite costs $74.99 per month, access to standalone Photoshop is priced at $9.99 per month. We estimate that the blended ARPS for the company was $27 in 2013. The recent trend in subscriptions indicates that users are subscribing to the annual full version of Creative Cloud. The company has also reported good growth in its enterprise term licensing agreement (ETLA), which have tenure of three year. This leads us to believe that the ARPS will increase in the coming years as it converges to the sticker price of $74.99. We estimate that the ARPS will grow to $51 by the end of our forecast period. However, if ARPS were to grow at a slower rate to $40 per month, our stock price estimate can decline by 10%.

Adobe Marketing Cloud

Revenues From Marketing Cloud To Grow: Adobe’s cloud marketing division is the second biggest division and makes up 20% of its value. Over the past few years, Adobe has built a comprehensive digital marketing platform that addresses most of the needs in digital marketing. This build up started in 2009 with the acquisition of Ominiture. Since then, the company has scaled up the functionality and product offering of its marketing platform through organic and inorganic growth. For example, the company recently acquired Neolane to boost its market share in digital marketing. [1] As a result, Adobe’s digital marketing platform currently leads the race to become the enterprise digital marketing platform provider of choice for professional marketers. [2]

We believe that this platform provides a cost effective digital marketing solution for companies that can manage marketing campaigns across different channels and devices. Adobe is aiming to increase its revenues from cloud based marketing solutions by expanding in new geographies and verticals. Currently, we project revenues from its digital marketing division to reach $3 billion by the end of our forecast period. However, if the revenues grew to $4 billion by the end of our forecast period there can be 10% upside to our price estimate.

Acrobat Family Division

Acrobat Family Revenues To Recover: Acrobat family is the third largest division, and makes up 10% of Adobe’s estimated value. In the past few quarters, revenues from this division have been on a decline, primarily due to launch of document cloud services that have subscription fee spread over the period of usage. The company has amassed over 1.6 million subscribers for document cloud service. We expect this trend to continue, and forecast the subscriber base to grow to 8 million by the end of our forecast period. Furthermore as this service gains momentum, we expect the ARPS to increase from $5.91 to $10 by the end of our forecast period. However, if subscriber base were to grow at a slow rate to 3.5 million, and ARPS were to remain flat there can be a 5% downside to our price estimate.

Transition To Cloud Services To Negatively Impact Smaller Divisions

Smaller divisions of Adobe, which include Adobe packaged software, LiveCyle software and Print & Publishing, makeup 6% of its estimated value. The adoption of Creative Cloud will negatively impact Adobe’s packaged software, while up-selling to Adobe marketing cloud will cause LiveCyle & Connect pro revenues. We expect revenues from these divisions to decline in the future.  We estimate that average selling price of packaged software and LiveCycle software to decline in the future to $200 and$ 85,200, respectively. We also expect the  number of licenses sold for  both the divisions to decline. Even if these metrics were to improve for both the division, it will have little impact on our stock price valuation, since contribution from these divisions is small.

We have revised our stock price estimate to $50.78.

Understand How a Company’s Products Impact its Stock Price at Trefis

  1. Read Adobe’s Neolane Acquisition Will Boost Its Digital Marketing Division []
  2. Ovum reveals IBM and Adobe are ahead in the race to become the enterprise digital marketing platform provider of choice, August 21 2013, []
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