By Emily Bary
Shares of Adobe Inc. sank to their worst performance in more than 20 months Friday, after DocuSign Inc. delivered what some saw as a the latest sign of a demand cool-down for work-from-home software.
DocuSign /zigman2/quotes/205992027/composite DOCU +4.06% Chief Executive Dan Springer acknowledged Thursday that while his electronic-signature company saw “accelerated growth” for six quarters amid the pandemic, customers have gone back to “more normalized buying patterns.” As a result, DocuSign delivered a downbeat bookings outlook, sending its shares cratering more than 40% .
Some of that investor fear seemed to transfer over to Adobe /zigman2/quotes/200389143/composite ADBE +2.51% , which also offers contract-management software and allows for the collection of e-signatures. Adobe’s stock fell 8.2% Friday, its steepest single-day percentage drop since March 2020 and the worst performance on the day from an S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.93% stock. The move wiped away $26.3 billion in market capitalization, taking Adobe’s valuation lower than $300 billion.
The decline in Adobe shares struck Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives as a “DOCU-related selloff,” he told MarketWatch, as DocuSign’s report served as a “a barometer that the WFH tailwinds are now abating and could be a headwind for Adobe.”
“The DOCU print was a shocker and this is a knee-jerk reaction,” he said.
Adobe is due to post its own quarterly results Dec. 16. The company highlighted its e-signature technology in its prior earnings report, as Chief Financial Officer John Murphy noted that “third-quarter Document Cloud growth drivers included adoption of Sign in Acrobat driven by the increased need to collaborate in a hybrid work environment.”
While other at-home stocks took a hit on disappointing outlooks earlier in the course of the pandemic, DocuSign initially appeared more resilient. Its stock hit an all-time high in September and was up 165% since March 2020 as of Thursday’s close. Now the company will need to “show that it can generate, not just fulfill, demand on a regular basis,” according to an Evercore analyst.
Adobe has a more diversified business than DocuSign. While the company sells contract-related software, it has a variety of other offerings including subscriptions to creative programs like Photoshop. Adobe’s Document Cloud accounted for about 13% of the company’s overall revenue in its last-reported quarter.
Shares of Adobe were up 86% since March 2020 as of Thursday’s close.