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Shares of Adobe were down 2 per cent during Friday's trading even though the software maker posted better than expected fourth quarter figures one day earlier.

Adobe reported fourth quarter revenue of $430m, which compares to $359m in the same quarter a year ago. This 20 percent growth surpassed Adobe's previous forecasts. Adobe also posted net income of $114m, which is a 36 per cent rise over the $105m posted one year earlier. The company's earnings of 44 cents per share beat out the consensus estimate of 42 cent per share.

Investors, however sent Adobe's shares down $1.15, at the time of this report, to $59.96. This price is well below the 52-week high of $64.48 that Adobe hit earlier in the week.

For the full year, Adobe pulled in $1.67bn in revenue. This was 29 per cent higher than the $1.30bn reported in 2003. Adobe's net income came in at $450m for the year versus $266m last year.

The company's chief executive Bruce Chizen said he expects solid growth in 2005.

"Based on the planned release of a succession of new products throughout fiscal 2005, as well as the large market opportunities in front of us, we are reaffirming our double-digit revenue growth target for fiscal 2005," Chizen said.

He cited particular interest in the Acrobat and Creative Suite software packages as reason for the optimism. ®

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