Adobe 4Q sales, profits top estimates
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Adobe Systems Inc. reported fiscal fourth-quarter sales and profit that topped analysts' estimates as customers embraced its flagship Creative Suite software.

Profit excluding some items for the period, which ended in November, was 61 cents a share on sales of $1.15 billion, the San Jose, California-based company said today in a statement. Analysts on average had projected profit of 56 cents a share on revenue of $1.1 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Chief Executive Officer Shantanu Narayen is transitioning the world's largest maker of graphic design software to offer more of its products over the Web and on mobile devices such as tablets in addition to personal computers. A subscription version of Creative Suite that costs less than the software sold for desktop computers is helping the company add users, said Peter Goldmacher, an analyst at Cowen & Co.

"The move to subscriptions is happening faster," Goldmacher said in a research report this month. Adobe "is investing aggressively to accelerate the transition."

Net income increased 28 percent to $222.3 million, or 44 cents a share, from $173.7 million, or 35 cents, a year earlier.

Through the end of November, Adobe signed up about 326,000 paying customers for its Creative Cloud tools, which include the Photoshop, Dreamweaver and Illustrator products, the company said earlier this week.

Narayen, CEO for five years, has also been making acquisitions such as Omniture Inc. and Efficient Frontier Inc. to move the company into software for online marketing as Adobe moves beyond the PC era.

On Dec. 5, the company added Kelly Barlow , a partner at investor ValueAct Capital Partners LP, to its board. ValueAct, a San Francisco-based investment firm with more than $8 billion under management, has a 6.3 percent stake in Adobe.