One of my favorite growth stocks over the past several years has been Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) stock.
Source: r.classen / Shutterstock.com
Indeed, I like Adobe so much that back in early 2019, I included the stock as one of my five favorite stocks to buy for the long-term when I coined the acronym STARS – which essentially was my own version of FANG. It included Shopify (NYSE:SHOP), The Trade Desk (NASDAQ:TTD), Adobe, Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU) and Square (NYSE:SQ).
Since then, ADBE stock has risen about 85%.
This rally is far from over. Adobe stock remains one of the best long-term stocks to buy in the market today.
There Are Huge Growth Drivers
In the big picture, Adobe is driven by three huge, secular growth drivers:
- The consumer pivot towards visual medium communication and content creation, which is here to stay for the long run.
- The enterprise pivot towards visual medium communication and marketing, which is also here to stay for the long run.
- The enterprise pivot towards digital workflows, which has only accelerated in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic and which will continue to accelerate for the foreseeable future.
As such, consumers are increasingly communicating through visual mediums, and creating and editing visual content. This pivot won’t slow anytime soon, because, as the old saying goes, a picture paints a thousand words. Consumer communication through visuals is simply more compelling, more engaging and better than communication through words.
Adobe provides best-in-breed visual content creation and editing tools for everyone, ranging from everyday consumers to creative professionals. As such, so long as consumers continue to lean into visual communications, demand for Adobe’s consumer-focused creative tools will increase.
Meanwhile, because consumers are spending all their time communicating through visual mediums, enterprises are having to pivot to communicate with their customers through visual mediums, too.
This includes the creation of visual-aesthetic and engaging posts and ad campaigns all across the internet. Because consumer-to-consumer communication will only grow more visual over the next several years, business-to-consumer communication will also only grow more visual.
Adobe provides top tier cloud solutions, under its Experience Cloud business, which specialize in helping enterprises optimize the visual communication component of their businesses.
As this component becomes increasingly important, Adobe’s Experience Cloud will grow its reach across the booming enterprise cloud landscape.
Last, but not least, enterprises are also digitizing all their workflows.
It’s a paper-to-digital transformation that has accelerated thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, and which will end with digital workflows becoming ubiquitous across the enterprise landscape.
Adobe’s Document Cloud business provides market-leading office digitization solutions which span across the entire paper-to-digital transformation. So long as Adobe maintains a leadership position in this market — which it should, despite rising competition from the likes of DocuSign (NASDAQ:DOCU) because of resource advantages and cross-platform synergies — then Adobe’s Document Cloud business will sustain robust growth for the next several years.
Valuation Upside for Adobe Stock
Thanks to robust growth prospects in its three major businesses – Creative Cloud, Experience Cloud and Document Cloud – and its huge addressable market that management pegs at roughly $130 billion. Adobe reasonably projects as a 10%+ revenue grower for the next several years.
This is a software business. With very little competition across its three major operating verticals. So gross margins are high. Like near 90% high. Which leaves ample room for economies of scale on the back of 10%+ revenue growth to drive significant positive operating leverage and meaningful profit margin expansion.
This combination of 10%+ revenue growth and meaningful profit margin expansion paves the path for Adobe to grow earnings at 15%+ clip for the foreseeable future.
My modeling suggests that Adobe will net $20 in earnings per share by fiscal 2025.
Application software stocks like Adobe normally trade around a forward earnings multiple of 35.
That sector-average multiple on $20 in 2025 earnings per share implies a 2024 price target for ADBE stock of $700. Discounted back by 10% per year, that implies a 2020 price target for the stock of about $480.
Bottom Line on ADBE Stock
Adobe stock is a long-term winner. It has been a long-term winner. It still is a long-term winner. And it will remain a long-term winner.
Buy ADBE stock. And hold for the long run.
It’s really that simple.
Luke Lango is a Markets Analyst for InvestorPlace. He has been professionally analyzing stocks for several years, previously working at various hedge funds and currently running his own investment fund in San Diego. A Caltech graduate, Luke has consistently been rated one of the world’s top stock pickers by various other analysts and platforms, and has developed a reputation for leveraging his technology background to identify growth stocks that deliver outstanding returns. Luke is also the founder of Fantastic, a social discovery company backed by an LA-based internet venture firm. As of this writing, he was long ADBE, SHOP, TTD, ROKU, SQ, FB, SNAP, and PINS.