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Adobe forgets to thank Apple as it hits $1bn per quarter

Was it down to tough love?

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Adobe put a troublesome year behind it yesterday, announcing its first ever billion-dollar quarter and jacking up its forecasts for next year.

The developer and creative software vendor turned in revenues of $1bn for its fourth quarter ending 3 December, well up on last year's $757.3m, and ahead of the $998m Wall Street was expecting. That was split between subscription revenues of $100.4m – up from $36.9m – and product revenues of $830.9m, up from $670.4m. The balance was made up from service and support revenues.

Net income came in at $268.9m – compared to last year's $32m loss – and delivered earnings per share came in at $0.56 non-GAAP, ahead of Wall Street's forecast of $0.52.

The company capped off the numbers by forecasting Q1 revenues of $1bn to $1.05bn, with earnings of $0.54 to $0.59 non-GAAP, again an advance on current forecasts.

The figures produced a bullish response from CEO and president Shantanu Narayen, who claimed the firm was "one of the most diversified software companies in the world and are entering 2011 with strong momentum".

The firm's bullishness is all the more remarkable since Apple boss Steve Jobs famously laid into it earlier in the year, exiling its Flash platform from its mobile devices.

Which raises the possibility that Steve was simply giving Adobe some tough love in an effort to get it to sort out some of its software's shortcomings and look at the world beyond Apple. However, it doesn't seem that Narayen chose to thank Steve for this little prompt yesterday. ®

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