What One Key Analyst Has to Say Ahead of the Salesforce Report

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Salesforce.com Inc. (NYSE: CRM) is scheduled to release its fiscal third-quarter financial results after the markets close on Tuesday. Ahead of this report, one analyst weighed in on the stock and why it could be going higher.

Consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters call for $0.50 in earnings per share (EPS) and $3.37 billion in revenue. The same period of last year reportedly had EPS of $0.39 and $2.68 billion in revenue.

Wedbush has an Outperform rating with a $160 price target, implying upside of 27% from Monday’s close of $126.41.

The firm thinks that Salesforce shares look pretty washed out at current levels, and it expects solid third-quarter execution to provide relief for the company, and possibly for a broader swatch of growth software issues.

Wedbush expanded on this:

Although the 3Q report won’t likely change perceptions of macroeconomic risks, it may help to calm jitters about growth and improve sentiment towards well-positioned SaaS software names with secular drivers (of which Salesforce is the bellwether). Salesforce shares have declined 23% since peaking on Sept. 27, a victim of the sell-off in popular high-growth technology. (The Nasdaq is down 14% and the S&P 500 is down 10% over the same time frame.) With shares now trading at 5.7x CY19E EV/revenue on subscription model, we see risk/reward as pointed to the upside, driven by expansion of trading multiples. Potential catalysts include likely strong 2H execution by Salesforce and any improvement in sentiment toward growth software. We would be accumulating ahead of the 3Q print

The firm expects solid numbers and encouraging commentary about MuleSoft, like last quarter. It’s forecasting a $30 million plus revenue beat and $0.02 of EPS outperformance and 20% year over year growth in unearned revenue, in line with guidance (with any variance more likely to be slight upside). Wedbush estimates $125 million in revenue contribution from MuleSoft under ASC 606, which should lead to a $25 million increase in full-year MuleSoft expectations (currently at $315 million). For the full year, a $50 million to $75 million revenue guidance raise seems likely, or $25 million above the size of any third-quarter beat.

As per guidance, Wedbush commented:

We estimate CRM has room to beat current consensus FY20 revenue ($15.83B) by several points, growing in the low-to-mid 20% range. However, in a difficult stock market—with potential macro risks looming on the horizon—management might not see much to be gained from a big upward guide at this point. At a minimum, we expect initial revenue guidance to bracket consensus (+20% Y/Y), although an upward skew is possible.

Shares of Salesforce were last seen at $126.19, with a consensus analyst price target of $172.50. The stock has a 52-week range of $98.68 to $161.19.

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