Tech must be back: Adobe busts out $1.8 billion for Omniture

Did somebody ask if tech was back?

Today's blockbuster acquisition by Adobe (ADBE) of Web analytics and optimization provider Omniture for $1.8 billion in cold hard cash may not fully answer the question, but it is a very positive sign -- not just for tech, but for the broader mergers and acquisitions market, as well as the economy as a whole.

Late Tuesday, after the close of the stock market, Adobe, the software and graphics giant, announced a friendly offer of $21.50 per share to Omniture shareholders. With Omniture shares closing today at $17.32, Adobe's offer represents a handsome 30 percent premium. In after hours trading, Omniture shares jumped 27 percent to $22, 50 cents above the Adobe bid.
News of the deal emerged after Adobe, which makes Flash, Photoshop and Acrobat software, announced earnings that fell short of analyst expectations. Net profit fell to $136 million, or 26 cents a share, from $191.6 million, or 35 cents a share in the same period one year ago. Revenue for the last quarter slipped 21 percent to $697.5 million from $887.3 million.

Adobe shares were trading down well over four percent in after hours activity on the NASDAQ.

"Adobe customers are looking to us for solutions to deliver engaging experiences and more effectively monetize their content and applications online," Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen said in a statement announcing the deal. "This is a game changer for both Adobe and our customers. We will enable advertisers, media companies and e-tailers to realize the full value of their digital assets."

Omniture's customers include a host of Internet and e-commerce giants including eBay, Oracle, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Sony and Wal-Mart.

"Omniture's mission has been to enable our customers to optimize every digital interaction," Omniture CEO Josh James said in the statement. "By joining forces with Adobe, we will accelerate our ability to deliver on that vision." James will join Adobe as senior vice president, according to the announcement.

Adobe said it expects to close the deal by the end of its fiscal year.
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