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Salesforce shares rise on earnings beat

Key Points
  • Salesforce beat on the top and bottom lines.
  • The company continues to expand beyond its core of sales software and is benefiting from its $6.5 billion acquisition of MuleSoft last year.
  • The stock is up about 9% for the year, as of Tuesday's close, but is well off its high from April.
Marc Benioff, CEO of SalesForce at DreamForce in San Francisco on Sept. 25th, 2018.
CNBC

Salesforce shares rose 3% in extended trading on Tuesday after the cloud software company reported better-than-expected earnings for the first quarter of its 2020 fiscal year.

Here are the key numbers:

  • Earnings: 93 cents per share, excluding certain items, vs. 61 cents per share as expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv.
  • Revenue: $3.74 billion, vs. $3.68 billion as expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv.

Revenue grew 24% in the quarter, according to a statement, as Salesforce continued expanding its product portfolio beyond sales software and into marketing, customer support and services. The company is also seeing increased demand for its MuleSoft offerings, after spending $6.5 billion on the data connectivity software vendor last year.

In the quarter Salesforce's Service Cloud product produced $1.02 billion in revenue, crossing the $1 billion mark for the first time.

Salesforce said it expects earnings in the second quarter of 46 cents to 47 cents a share, excluding certain items, on $3.94 billion to $3.94 billion in revenue.

For the full fiscal year Salesforce said it sees $2.88 to $2.90 in earnings per share, excluding certain items, on $16.10 billion to $16.25 billion in revenue. Analysts polled by Refinitiv were looking for $2.66 in earnings per share, excluding certain items, on $16.12 billion in revenue.

In the latest quarter, Salesforce announced new business from investment bank Evercore, which said it will use the software to help bankers expand their client relationships. Salesforce also rolled out artificial intelligence enhancements in the period and announced its combination with Salesforce.org, the company's philanthropic arm. Salesforce previously said it was expecting that deal to contribute around $150 to $200 million in revenue for its 2020 fiscal year.

While Salesforce shares are up close to 9% for the year, as of Tuesday's close, the stock is well off its high from April. Wedbush Securities analysts led by Steve Koenig wrote in a note to clients last week that negativity around Salesforce, following weak guidance provided in the last earnings report, seemed overblown. Their channel checks suggested the core Sales Cloud product for managing sales leads had not seen a slowdown and that major deals were in the pipeline.

However, the company appears to have lost some business to Microsoft among small and medium-sized companies, said the Wedbush analysts, who recommend buying the stock. Still, global technology integrators have said they're not seeing Microsoft "gaining ground competitively," the Wedbush report said.

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