Workday (WDAY) vs. Adobe Systems (ADBE) Critical Review

Workday (NASDAQ: WDAY) and Adobe Systems (NASDAQ:ADBE) are both large-cap technology companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, risk, earnings, institutional ownership, dividends, valuation and profitability.


This table compares Workday and Adobe Systems’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Workday -14.99% -16.80% -6.30%
Adobe Systems 23.20% 22.15% 12.93%

Volatility and Risk

Workday has a beta of 1.86, suggesting that its stock price is 86% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Adobe Systems has a beta of 1.1, suggesting that its stock price is 10% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Workday and Adobe Systems’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Workday $2.14 billion 13.46 -$321.22 million ($1.54) -89.18
Adobe Systems $7.30 billion 14.85 $1.69 billion $3.38 65.02

Adobe Systems has higher revenue and earnings than Workday. Workday is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Adobe Systems, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations and price targets for Workday and Adobe Systems, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Workday 1 18 16 0 2.43
Adobe Systems 0 7 24 0 2.77

Workday currently has a consensus target price of $119.53, suggesting a potential downside of 12.97%. Adobe Systems has a consensus target price of $200.39, suggesting a potential downside of 8.82%. Given Adobe Systems’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Adobe Systems is more favorable than Workday.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

70.0% of Workday shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 87.1% of Adobe Systems shares are held by institutional investors. 37.7% of Workday shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.3% of Adobe Systems shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.


Adobe Systems beats Workday on 12 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Workday Company Profile

Workday, Inc. is a provider of enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resources. The Company delivers financial management, human capital management and analytics applications designed for various companies, educational institutions and government agencies. As part of its applications, the Company provides embedded analytics that capture the content and context of everyday business events, facilitating informed decision-making from wherever users are working. Its applications include Workday Financial Management, Workday Human Capital Management (HCM) and Other Applications. It also provides open, standards-based Web-services application programming interfaces, and pre-built packaged integrations and connectors. Workday Financial Management is a unified application with a range of financial capabilities, relevant analytics and metrics, and auditable process management. Workday HCM allows an organization to staff, pay, organize and develop its global workforce.

Adobe Systems Company Profile

Adobe Systems Incorporated is a software company. The Company offers products and services used by professionals, marketers, knowledge workers, application developers, enterprises and consumers for creating, managing, delivering, measuring, optimizing and engaging with compelling content and experiences. It operates through three segments: Digital Media, Digital Marketing, and Print and Publishing. Its Digital Media segment provides tools and solutions that enable individuals, small and medium businesses and enterprises to create, publish, promote and monetize their digital content. Its Digital Marketing segment provides solutions and services for how digital advertising and marketing are created, managed, executed, measured and optimized. Its Print and Publishing segment addresses market opportunities ranging from the diverse authoring and publishing needs of technical and business publishing to its legacy type and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) printing businesses.

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