Cloud-based software company Salesforce reported better-than-expected fiscal first-quarter earnings, and its shares were up 3.3% on Wednesday to more than $155 on the news.
If you invested in the company 10 years ago, that decision would have paid off. A $1,000 investment made June 5, 2009, would be worth nearly $15,000 as of June 5, 2019, for a total return of around 1,400%, according to CNBC calculations.
Over the same period, the has returned just over 250%.
Salesforce reported earnings of 93 cents per share for the quarter, excluding certain items, versus 61 cents per share expected by analysts, according to financial markets data provider Refinitiv. For the same quarter a year earlier, the company had earnings of 74 cents a share.
CNBC: Salesforce stock as of June 5, 2019.
Revenue grew 24% and the company's trademark Service Cloud product generated $1.02 billion in revenue, crossing the $1 billion mark for the first time.
Though the shares are up about 14% to year to date, the stock remains off its high from April. And earlier this month, J.P. Morgan removed Salesforce from its "Analyst Focus List," which highlights companies that analysts believe will perform well in the month ahead. Some analysts have reservations about the cloud computing industry overall.
Dan Nathan, co-founder and editor of RiskReversal.com, said Monday on CNBC's "Options Action" that cloud stocks, like Salesforce, have declined in the last month: "The stock had been trading in a very tight range for months now," underperforming the Nasdaq, he said.
What's more, last month, the company experienced a major technical issue that caused some customers to lose access to certain services, including Sales Cloud and Service Cloud, two of Salesforce's biggest revenue generators, which has since been corrected.
Still, these types of issues could "cause customers to make warranty or other claims against us or to terminate their subscriptions and adversely affect our attrition rates and our ability to attract new customers, all of which would reduce our revenue," Salesforce said in its annual report.
Yet many analysts remain optimistic and the company continues to make new investments: It owns a stake in ride-hailing app Lyft worth nearly $27 million and has recently expanded its reach into artificial intelligence. The company also says it expects fiscal second-quarter earnings of about 46 cents a share and $3.94 billion in revenue.
"If you think about where we're going, what this company has, it's the leader in [customer relationship management]," Yana Barton, a portfolio manager at Eaton Vance, said Monday on CNBC's "Halftime Report." "Relative to the market, relative to the space, I think they are still a clear leader and they have the pathway to continue to gain double-digit growth."
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