Adobe Is Building A Camera App With Former Google-Pioneer

Adobe Inc. (ADBE) has announced that it is planning to build a universal camera app by bringing in Marc Levoy, the pioneer behind Google’s (GOOGL) smartphone camera software.

Adobe hired the former researcher from Google to work on what the company calls an app that is “centered on the concept of a universal camera app.” Adobe currently offers a Photoshop camera app as well as a built-in camera for its Lightroom app. Adobe didn’t offer details on the new app’s capabilities aside from its main developer.

“Levoy will spearhead company-wide technology initiatives focused on computational photography and emerging products, centered on the concept of a universal camera app” the company stated on June 21 in an email to Engadget.

In 2014, Levoy joined Google at a time when smart developers sought to improve photos by incorporating more lenses and sensors into their devices. His work on Google’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 3 took photos using only one camera unit to dramatically improve and enhance an image. Levoy left Google in March.

His other work with Adobe will include developing Adobe’s Sensei division to focus on artificial intelligence machine learning for creative work, marketing, and data analysis. Adobe’s creation of a dedicated camera app from a developer who revolutionized photography software is expected to also bring advancements to the company’s smartphone video technology.

Argus Research analyst Joseph Bonner noted on June 15 that Adobe’s management has under-promised but over-delivered which has positioned the company at the center of the exploding market for digital video content and ad-creation. He reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and raised his price target from $368 to $474 which implies 5% upside potential.

Meanwhile Jefferies analyst Brent Thill maintained a Buy rating on the shares stating that digital media was Adobe’s “source of strength” in the company’s Q2 results. He added that he remains confident in Adobe’s superior fundamentals and market leadership. He maintains a Buy rating on the stock and raised his price target from $450 to $470 (4% upside potential). 

Adobe is up 36% year-to-date with a Moderate Buy analyst consensus that breaks down into 16 Buy ratings versus 6 Hold ratings and no Sell ratings. The $434.45 average price target implies 3% downside potential for the shares in the coming 12 months. (See Adobe’s stock analysis on TipRanks).

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