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Salesforce.com Earnings Blow Past Forecasts

Source: Salesforce | Flickr

Salesforce reported fourth-quarter earnings that blew past analysts' expectations on Thursday, backed by strong sales of its cloud-based services.

The business-software maker's shares jumped after the announcement. (Click here for the latest after-hours quote.)

The company posted a net loss for the quarter, which widened to $20.8 million, or 14 cents a share, during the quarter from widening from a loss of $4.08 million, or 3 cents, a share a year earlier.

Excluding items such as a one-time tax charge, the company posted a profit of 51 cents a share, up from 43 cents a share a year ago.

Revenue increased 32 percent to $835 million from $632 million a year ago.

Analysts had expected earnings ex-items of 40 cents a share on revenue of $831 million, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

"Salesforce.com had a spectacular finish to its fiscal year. We delivered more than $3 billion in revenue and constant currency revenue growth of 37%," said Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff in a statement.

Salesforce.com, which provides sales and marketing software to companies like Coca-Cola and Ford Motor, has boasted one of the fastest rates of top-line growth in the technology industry, with its full-year revenue rising 35 percent from a year ago to $3.05 billion.

For its 2014 fiscal year, which began Feb. 1, Salesforce expects sales of between $3.82 and $3.87 billion, in-line with Wall Street forecasts of $3.85 billion.

Other Internet companies have also topped expectations this quarter, including Priceline and LinkedIn. Groupon's earnings hit analysts' target but its outlook was disappointing.

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