Salesforce.com: Why Analysts and Investors Can’t Get Enough

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Salesforce.com Inc. (NYSE: CRM) released its most recent quarterly results after the markets closed last Wednesday. This firm is known for having one of the most ridiculous multiples on Wall Street. While a few naysayers are waiting for this stock to drop, they are dwarfed by the investors and analysts chasing this stock higher. The most recent earnings report only seems to prove this point, that everyone can’t get enough of Salesforce.

24/7 Wall St. has reviewed and included some brief highlights from the report, as well as what analysts are saying about the firm after the fact.

The company said that it had $0.35 in earnings per share (EPS) on $2.85 billion in revenue for the quarter, which compared to the consensus estimates of $0.33 in EPS on revenue of $2.81 billion.

Deferred revenue was $7.09 billion, an increase of 28% year over year, and 25% in constant currency. Unbilled deferred revenue ended the fourth quarter at approximately $13.3 billion, up 48% year over year.

Analysts were very positive on the stock after earnings. Perhaps one of the most bullish was Merrill Lynch. The firm reiterated a Buy rating and raised its price objective to $147 from $125, noting solid bookings and margins, and strong earnings growth out to 2021 and 2022. Merrill Lynch gave its investment rationale as follows:

Our thesis is that CRM is a long-term market share winner, with inflecting margins, benefiting from the structural shift to Cloud. We see multiple positive levers: 1) broader distribution. 2) lower attrition as enterprise ramps. 3) add-on/upgrade sales. 4) broadening addressable market into analytics/AI, verticals, IoT, commerce.

Canaccord Genuity reiterated a Buy rating and raised its price target to $135 from $130. It called the company as being one for the ages now, and an exemplary earnings report was followed with a new goal of achieving $20 billion in annual revenues ahead.

Argus raised its target price from $130 to $141. The independent research firm commented in its report:

Salesforce delivered another strong quarter in fiscal 4Q18, finishing the year with sales momentum, and raised its FY19 revenue guidance. In our view, Salesforce.com is well positioned to exploit the secular trends toward software-as-a-service cloud solutions, data analytics, and platform software services, and away from higher-cost on-premise software. The company continues to gain market share and rapidly innovate across its enterprise cloud CRM space. Management highlighted the double-digit growth in deferred revenue and unbilled deferred revenue in 4Q as signs of the company’s strong sales pipeline. We are raising our FY19 non-GAAP EPS estimate to $2.04 from $1.74 and establishing an FY20 forecast of $2.58.

RBC Capital Markets reiterated the stock at Outperform and raised its target price to $130 from $120. The firm noted that it expects Salesforce to sustain its performance after a strong quarterly report with solid guidance ahead.

A few other analysts weighed in on Salesforce after the report:

  • Robert W. Baird raised its price target to $135 from $125.
  • Barclays raised its price target to $130 from $127.
  • BMO Capital Markets raised its target to $133 from $118.
  • Cowen raised its price target from $130 to $135.
  • Credit Suisse reiterated an Outperform rating and raised its target to $135 from $130.
  • Deutsche Bank reiterated a Buy rating raised its target to $140 from $130.
  • Jefferies reiterated a Buy rating and raised its price target from $132 to $140.
  • Morgan Stanley reiterated an Overweight rating and raised its target to $140 from $134.
  • Oppenheimer reiterated an Outperform rating with a $135 target price.
  • Raymond James reiterated an Outperform rating and raised its target to $135 from $125.
  • Stifel raised its price target to $142 from $120.
  • SunTrust Robinson Humphrey raised its target from $122 to $133.
  • Wedbush Securities raised its price target to $140 from $123.

Shares of Salesforce closed Friday’s trading at $121.92, with a consensus analyst price target of $134.88 and a 52-week range of $80.50 to $122.47.