Tech Industry

PDF pumps Adobe profits

The software maker credits its e-paper division, whose products revolve around the company's PDF publishing format, for growth in second-quarter revenue and profit.

Software publisher Adobe Systems reported bigger profits and sales for its third quarter, crediting the growth to products based on its PDF publishing format.

On Wednesday, Adobe announced that it had net income of $64.5 million, or 27 cents a share, for the quarter, which ended Aug. 29. That compares with $47.2 million, or 19 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Analysts polled by research firm First Call had predicted income of 25 cents a share.

Revenue for the quarter was $319.1 million, compared with $284.9 million a year ago.

Executives attributed the growth to the company's e-paper division, which produces Acrobat and other products based on Adobe's portable document format (PDF). The company a few months ago, adding a high-end version and a stripped-down product, aimed at getting office workers to use PDF as the standard choice for exchanging documents.

Shantanu Narayen, executive vice president of worldwide products for Adobe, said sales for the high-end Acrobat Professional have been significantly higher than expected, while the low-end Acrobat Elements is off to a slow start.

"The strategy is still to drive PDF adoption in the enterprise," Narayen said during a conference call on Wednesday with financial analysts. "It will always be one of these things where we continue to educate people on the benefits of PDF."

"Our customers are choosing to spend a little bit more money to go with the product that had more functionality," CEO Bruce Chizen added. "That's something we're not necessarily upset about."

Adobe executives said they expect revenue from e-paper products to decline sequentially during the current quarter. However, they expect revenue from other areas to compensate, as the company prepares to make several major product announcements at the end of September. The company, based in San Jose, Calif., is widely expected to unveil a new version of Photoshop at about that time. , the main user conference for Photoshop professionals, begins Sept. 30.

Adobe said in the statement that it expects revenue of $330 million to $350 million for its current fourth quarter and earnings per share of between 30 cents and 32 cents.