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Salesforce.com Pops: What Wall Street's Saying

Updated from 8:36 a.m. to include thoughts from Oppenheimer analyst.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) –– Salesforce.com (CRM - Get Report) continued to show there is life in the software-as-a-service (SaaS) business, as fiscal second-quarter revenue rose 38% year over year, curbing some doubt on Wall Street.

Salesforce.com earned an adjusted 13 cents a share on the quarter on $1.29 billion in revenue, as subscription and support revenue rose 37% year over year to $1.23 billion. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were expecting an adjusted profit of 12 cents a share on $1.29 billion in revenue. Shares of the San Francisco-based company were higher in early trading on Friday, gaining 8.1% to $60.24.

The Marc Benioff-led company boosted its fiscal 2015 revenue guidance, saying it now expects to generate between $5.34 billion and $5.37 billion. Adjusted earnings are projected to be between 50 cents and 52 cents a share. Analysts expect the company to earn 51 cents a share on $5.34 billion in revenue.

For the third quarter, Salesforce expects to post adjusted earnings between 12 cents and 13 cents a share, with revenue ranging between $1.365 billion and $1.37 billion. Analysts expect adjusted earnings of 13 cents on revenue of $1.37 billion.

Following the report and the earnings call, analysts were largely positive on Salesforce. Here's what a few of them had to say:

Barclays Capital analyst Raimo Lenschow (Overweight, $63 PT)

"Salesforce.com reported Q2 FY15 results that were better than consensus, with revenue of $1.32bn coming in above expectations of $1.29bn. Billings of $1.35bn on a reported basis was ahead of consensus estimates and backlog growth (32% y/y) also remains healthy. Generally speaking, we feel as though the quarter was fine. Shares showed modest upward price movement in after-hours trading, however, with SaaS stocks still under pressure and investor sentiment towards high-valuation names remaining tentative, we do not think this result will cause a big move to the upside in the near term for Salesforce.com."

UBS analyst Brent Thill (Buy, $76 PT)

"Once again, CRM's durable business model provided ongoing consistency and results. Despite Q2 being a seasonally soft quarter, CRM saw stronger than expected large deal volume as evidenced by an 8-figure win at 3M (displaced Oracle/Siebel) and numerous other unannounced transactions. Trading at 5.6x forward CY15 EV/Rev and 3.5x est. total backlog, we believe there's meaningful upside to CRM shares as we head into the seasonally strong second half, where we believe: (1) large enterprise deal pipeline is robust, (2) breadth of volume deals in SMB provides balance, (3) there are upcoming event catalysts (2 major user conferences: ET Connections in September and Dreamforce in October), where we expect new product announcements and new partner & customer wins. Maintain Buy rating."

Deutsche Bank analyst Karl Keirstead (Buy, $70 PT)

"Salesforce.com (SFDC) grew billings by 33% in 2QF15 (we estimate organic ex- ET billings growth of ~28%), versus what we believe to have been investor expectations for ~30%-32% growth. Total backlog growth was solid at 32% (consistent with momentum in recent quarters), the FY15 revs guidance was raised by $30m (normal) and very strong OCF growth of 54% in the first half makes SFDC's FY15 OCF growth guidance of 26%-27% look very conservative. The key to the print was the October quarter DR guide of 30%, implying 25%+ billings growth (all organic given the ET deal has now been lapped). Reaffirm BUY rating."

Pacific Crest Securities analyst Brendan Barnicle (Outperform, $74 PT)

"SaaS has had a generally disappointing Q2, but Salesforce.com once again proved itself the SaaS leader. The company's FQ2 (July) results exceeded all expectations, and generally grew all metrics by 30% or more. Revenue was $1.32 billion, accelerating to 38% y/y growth and better than expectations of $1.29 billion. EPS was $0.13, better than expectations of $0.12. Billings were $1.35 billion, up 33% and better than expectations of $1.29 billion. Similarly, cash flow from operations was $246 million, up 34% and better than expectations of $201.2 million. Given the continued momentum in the business, the company raised guidance and we are increasing estimates."

Oppenheimer analyst Brian Schwartz (Outperform, $71 PT)

"Consistent with our preview, CRM reported 2Q upside with higher consensus estimates following through. Our model suggests the billings and revenue guidance for 3Q/2H (and hence FY:2016) still has upside potential given historical trends and the encouraging progress with newer products. Bottom Line: A key part of our CRM thesis is that new sales leadership will become a tailwind for financials as enterprise penetration increases and marketing and platform become a bigger share of the revenue mix. 2Q results suggest this may be in the early stages of playing out. While salesforce.com's strength in SFA/Service is likely reflected in the shares, the company's success in marketing and platform, along with newer financial discipline around operating margins, could be a source of revenue upside and multiple expansion."

-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

>Contact by Email.

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