Salesforce.com Delivers on Earnings and Guidance

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Salesforce.com, Inc. (NYSE: CRM) has announced its earnings, and investors are excited that it has raised fiscal 2017 guidance. Revenue rose 27% to $1.92 Billion, but this would have been up 28% on a constant currency measure. Deferred revenue, a measure of future orders, was up 31% to $4.01 billion. Thomson Reuters had estimates of $1.89 billion in revenue.

Its second quarter revenue guidance is $2.005 billion to $2.015 billion, versus a $1.98 billion estimate. On forward guidance, Salesforce.com sees Fiscal Year 2017 revenue guidance of $8.16 billion to $8.20 billion, versus a consensus number of $8.12 billion from Thomson Reuters. – and unbilled deferred revenue of approximately $7.6 billion, up 27%.

Salesforce.com said that its operating cash flow was up 43% to $1.05 billion. Its reported earnings per share was $0.24 versus a consensus estimate of $0.23 EPS.

The revenue breakdown showed additional gains on both key metrics in the first quarter. Subscription and support revenues rose 26% to $1.78 billion, and professional services (and other) revenues were up 33% to $141 million.

Apparently Salesforce.com was overly chatty on its commentary:

  • Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO — We’re thrilled that first quarter revenue growth accelerated to 28% year-over-year in constant currency. Given the strong response to our Customer Success Platform, we are raising our fiscal 2017 revenue guidance by $80 million to reach $8.2 billion at the high end of the range.
  • Mark Hawkins, CFO — Operating cash flow grew 43% in the first quarter from a year ago, surpassing the $1 billion quarterly milestone for the first time in our company’s history. We also expanded our non-GAAP operating margin by 283 basis points, which is our eighth consecutive quarter of year-over-year improvement.
  • Keith Block, vice chairman, president and COO — Our first quarter was an extremely strong start to our fiscal year, with outstanding execution across the board. We continued to drive larger and more strategic transactions in the first quarter, including yet another 9-figure transaction. No other enterprise software company is building strategic relationships of this size and scale—and certainly not at this pace.

Salesforce.com shares closed up 1.4% at $77.87, and its stock was up 5% at $82.00 in the after-hours trading session on Wednesday. Its 52-week range is $52.60 to $82.90.

If these after-hours trading levels hold up, the consensus analyst price target of $90.60 may continue to rise. With a market cap of over $52 billion at the close of trading (not including the 5% after-hours gain), it needs to be kept in mind that Salesforce.com is still valued at about 77 times expected earnings for the year ahead.