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TheStreet Open House

Salesforce.com Earnings: What Wall Street Thinks

NEW YORK (TheStreet) Shares of Salesforce.com (CRM) plunged 5.2% to $52.71 following third-quarter earnings that largely beat Wall Street estimates, and signs the company could generate over $5 billion in revenue in just two short years.

For the third quarter, salesforce.com revenues rose 36% year over year to $1.08 billion, as it benefited from the acquisition of email marketing firm ExactTarget. Subscription and support revenues rose 36% to $1 billion, while professional services and other revenues grew 50% to $72 million. Deferred revenue increased 34% to $1.73 billion.

The San Francisco-based company earned 9 cents a share, with analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters looking for the company to generate $1.055 billion in revenue, earning 9 cents on a non-GAAP basis.

Going forward, salesforce said it expects to generate between $1.12 and $1.13 billion in revenue, earning between 5 and 6 cents per share, as the company rolls out new products, including Salesforce1.

Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff

"The impact of Salesforce1 is a completely new approach to our platform as well as our sales cloud and marketing cloud," CEO Marc Benioff said on the earnings call. "It will change how our customers run their customers and connect with their customers."

Analysts expect salesforce to generate $1.12 billion in sales, earning 7 cents per share.

Benioff also noted that salesforce expects to generate over $5 billion in revenue in fiscal 2015. "Given the strong customer response to our next generation social and mobile cloud technologies, I'm delighted to announce that we expect to deliver our first $5 billion year during our fiscal year 2015," Benioff said on the call.

Following the results, Wall Street analysts were largely positive. Here's what a few of them had to say regarding the earnings.

TheStreet's Jim Cramer:

"Now Salesforce stock is up 32%. That's not outrageously higher, but it is enough to warrant some attempts to color the quarter, and for others to be nervous in their thorough failure to understand what the company actually does.

No matter -- once again this stock, which has been such a huge winner, is going to give you an opportunity to do some buying, and I think it should be taken."

UBS analyst Brent Thill (Buy, $66 PT)

"CRM delivered upside driven by continued strength in core CRM and better than expected ExactTarget (ET) in its 1st full qtr. Billings $1,021M beat UBse $968M & consensus $976M
mainly due to ET upside. More importantly, total backlog, which reflects full bookings and not just billings, and also excludes ET unbilled DR, accelerated from 33% y/y growth in FQ1 to 35% in FQ2, and 38% in FQ3. Dreamforce conference this week is well timed for a strong FQ4 (Jan.) finish with refreshed Salesforce 1 pdt, Performance Ed. bundle, & enhanced Marketing Cloud."

Credit Suisse analyst Philip Winslow (Outperform, $65 PT)

"Salesforce.com reported EPS of $0.09 on $1.076 billion in revenue versus consensus of $0.09 on $1.052 billion in revenue. Billings grew 29.3% year over year to $1,021 billion versus consensus of $976 million, and we estimate that Salesforce.com's organic billings growth of ~26-27% in FQ3 outpaced first-half organic billings growth of ~24% year over year. Further, the company reported $4.2 billion in backlog, a 40% year over year increase versus 36% and 33% year-over year growth in FQ1 and FQ2, respectively. We maintain our Outperform rating and increase our target price from $60 to $65."

Canaccord Genuity analyst Richard Davis (Buy, $65 PT)

"Numbers-wise, CRM posted strong results as we suggested in our Weekend Musings preview two weeks ago. More importantly, we believe the bias to estimates remains to the upside, especially if ExactTarget continues to exceed the implicit contribution embedded in management's outlook opinion. Stock-wise, Salesforce is our favorite large-cap growth name because if 2013 was about Growth At Any Price, we expect 2014, with the specter of rising rates, will force investors to pay at least some attention to growth plus cash flow margins. On that basis, CRM's F2014 33% revenue growth plus roughly 14% FCF margin puts the firm in the top decile of cloud companies. Finally, the valuation, in a market of expensive stocks, isn't too egregious at 7.0x revenues and 50x EV/FCF on our C2014E numbers. Like a Harley Davidson, we say let this stock ride."

--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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