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Adobe Systems rolls past 1Q forecasts

Adobe Systems flew past analysts' estimates in its first quarter Thursday, posting a profit of $64.6 million, or 51 cents a share, on record sales of $282.2 million.

First Call consensus expected the software developer to earn 43 cents a share in the quarter.

Adobe (Nasdaq: ADBE) shares closed up 10 7/8, or 13 percent, to 94 7/16 ahead of the earnings report.

The $282.2 million in sales marks a 24 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it earned $38.3 million, or 30 cents a share, on sales of $227 million.

"Our results in the first quarter demonstrate the success and momentum of our current product line up," said CEO John Warnock in a prepared release. "As Adobe enters the second quarter, we are in the strongest position ever in terms of our upcoming product releases and the efficiency of our operational infrastructure."

Operating profit for the first quarter was $89 million, compared to $54.5 million in the year-ago quarter and $81.9 million in the fourth quarter. Its operating profit in the quarter was 31.3 percent of revenue, compared to 24 percent in the same period last year.

Last quarter, Adobe raked in 46 cents a share on sales of $281.8 million.

Its shares moved up to a 52-week high of 106 5/8 in February after falling to a low of 23 5/8 last March.

Ten of the 13 analysts tracking the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.

First Call consensus expects the San Jose, Calif. company to earn $1.90 a share in the fiscal year. Adobe compete with Corel (Nasdaq: CORL), Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) and privately held Quark.