Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Adobe Shareholder Meeting, April 9, 2008

I attended the Adobe Shareholder meeting in downtown San Jose. CEO Shantanu Narayen--who has my nomination for the coolest name in business--stayed afterwards to chat with a few shareholders. He was articulate and obviously extremely intelligent. Some CEOs don't come across well at all (Atmel's George Perlegos comes to mind), but Mr. Narayen presents very well. For such a well-recognized company, very few shareholders attended the meeting, probably around 20 or so (aside from the directors).

In a nutshell, Adobe is doing very well. Almost every metric of measuring profit showed improvement, usually by at least 20%. Software has great margins, so it is usually a good business, assuming a competitor doesn't make it obsolete. But with 2 billion or so in cash, Adobe can pull a Microsoft and buy out its competition.

The refreshments were average, the usual spread of coffee, some fruit, and some muffins.

Following the Adobe/Apple saga, I asked about Adobe's relationship with Apple, and the CEO remarked that the relationship was fine and that Adobe had access to Apple's newly released code and was working on an application for cell phones called Flash Lite. Adobe seems to be creating new products that will allow it to remain the standard in the marketplace. Overall, I was impressed with the company but concerned that it was not doing enough to increase its profile in Wall Street. Adobe may want to hire a PR firm to increase its visibility among traders and the public.

No comments: