Adobe ($ADBE) is having a great year in 2019 that's otherwise been tough on tech. The San Jose-based software company has seen shares rise about 35% in 2019, and analysts tracked by Zacks Investment Research are expecting higher EPS of $1.86 when it announces earnings December 12.

However, after raising job postings to a yet-unseen level, Adobe has been slashing job postings from its website since April - removing 61% of open roles. It's quite the shift, and out of pace with how the company typically operates. 

When 2019 began, Adobe headed out to load up on talent - adding more than 500 postings. But, then, Adobe cuts to job postings, sharply. 

It's a similar pattern to 2017 and 2018, both of which years began after sharp cuts to job postings - but this pattern didn't hold true over the last year, and Adobe just kept hiring more. From its fiscal 2017 to fiscal 2018 10-K reports (which track headcount through November of that fiscal year) Adobe headcount shot up a whopping 19%. 

And it sounds like the headcount figure will grow again this year. How much it rises, remains to be seen. As does the rationale behind Adobe's big job posting cut over the last six months.

It could be a sign of a strategy shift - or, as we've seen so commonly in the past, it could also have been an early tell that Adobe, too, might have weighed whether it should dive into the technology Q4 M&A frenzy that has both private equity and strategic bidders throwing cash around to close out 2019.

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

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