Macromedia is expected to debut new products in its industry-standard MX range by "late summer", an analyst said yesterday.

Analysts at Merrill Lynch also raised the target price for Macromedia from $32 to $45, based on predicted earnings and sales growth, writes Forbes.

Merrill Lynch said: "Our investment premise on Macromedia has been fairly simple – namely, that the business could grow this fiscal year even in the absence of a major release of its principal MX design and development applications as the combination of its various new businesses are expected to more than offset the presumed aging effects of the MX 2004 release.

"Beyond that, we’ve expected that there would be a further increase in revenues and earnings in fiscal 2006 as a result of the late summer 2005 releases of various MX products coupled with the anticipated further increases in its Flash licensing, business user, and server software businesses."


Merrill Lynch also expects to see a trend towards increased "volume-licensing" and premium product versions at Macromedia.

"Macromedia has historically and correctly been regarded as a product-cycle/packaged application company, but we think that as the product and channel mix evolve, there will be a more diverse and larger revenue base, leading to an improved valuation," the firm said.

Forbes notes that Macromedia recently announced that Nokia will integrate Flash technology into its Series 60 Platform. Merrill Lynch commented: "The deal highlights the expanding revenue and unit potential for the royalty-based business, but no less important is the possibly meaningful impact as well on the company’s still much larger software business as developers in new software for content creation."