updated 9/14/2006 4:56:35 PM ET 2006-09-14T20:56:35

Adobe Systems Inc., which makes publishing and design software for digital documents, easily beat Wall Street’s expectations Thursday when it reported that third-quarter profit declined but revenue soared nearly 24 percent.

Net income for the three months ended Sept. 1 declined 35 percent to $94.4 million, or 16 cents a share, from $144.9 million, or 29 cents, in the same quarter of last year. Sales were $602.19 million, up from $487.04 million last year.

Adobe closed its $3.4 billion purchase of Macromedia Inc., which makes Web software, in December.

Excluding costs for that acquisition, stock options and other expenses, profit was $171.5 million, or 29 cents per share. Analysts were expecting the company to earn $152.52 million, or 26 cents per share, on revenue of $595.12, according to a Thomson Financial poll.

Adobe said profit after acquisition costs and other expenses in the current quarter would be 19 cents to 22 cents. Not including those expenses, profit in the current quarter would be 32 cents to 34 cents.

Sales are likely to be $655 million to $685 million, Adobe said.

“With new products launching this quarter, our outlook for the remainder of the year remains positive,” said Chief Executive Bruce R. Chizen.

Adobe shares closed Thursday at $33.65, up 12 cents from Wednesday on the Nasdaq Stock Market. In after-hours trading, after the earnings were announced, it gained another $2.15.

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