Reviewing Zendesk (NYSE:ZEN) and Adobe Systems (ADBE)

Zendesk (NYSE: ZEN) and Adobe Systems (NASDAQ:ADBE) are both technology companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, risk, dividends, institutional ownership, earnings, valuation and analyst recommendations.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings for Zendesk and Adobe Systems, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Zendesk 0 2 12 0 2.86
Adobe Systems 0 7 24 0 2.77

Zendesk currently has a consensus target price of $42.77, indicating a potential downside of 12.23%. Adobe Systems has a consensus target price of $200.39, indicating a potential downside of 8.26%. Given Adobe Systems’ higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Adobe Systems is more favorable than Zendesk.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

93.2% of Zendesk shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 87.1% of Adobe Systems shares are held by institutional investors. 5.3% of Zendesk shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 0.3% of Adobe Systems shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.


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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Zendesk -25.70% -32.48% -19.29%
Adobe Systems 23.20% 22.15% 12.93%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Zendesk and Adobe Systems’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Zendesk $430.49 million 11.70 -$110.63 million ($1.11) -43.90
Adobe Systems $7.30 billion 14.76 $1.69 billion $3.38 64.63

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

Risk and Volatility

Zendesk has a beta of 1.64, indicating that its share price is 64% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Adobe Systems has a beta of 1.1, indicating that its share price is 10% more volatile than the S&P 500.


Adobe Systems beats Zendesk on 10 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Zendesk

Zendesk, Inc. (Zendesk) is a software development company. The Zendesk family of products is built to work together to help organizations understand and manage customer relationships. All Zendesk products share a common interface and are being developed to support a shared services infrastructure and common customer data platform. Zendesk’s products are developed using agile software techniques, and are designed to incorporate and innovate on customer feedback obtained through beta and Early Access Programs (EAPs). Its family of products includes Zendesk Support, Zendesk Chat, Zendesk Talk, Zendesk Help Center, Zendesk Message, Zendesk Explore and Zendesk Connect. Zendesk’s developer platform allows organizations to extend the functionality of its family of products and customize the experience for their employees and customers. Key components of Zendesk’s developer platform include Zendesk Embeddables, Zendesk application program interfaces (APIs) and Zendesk Applications.

About Adobe Systems

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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