Salesforce.com's (CRM) - Get Report fourth-quarter results will highlight how CEO Marc Benioff is thinking about the software-as-a-service giant not only as a force against Microsoft(MSFT) - Get Report , Workday(WDAY) - Get Report and others, but as one of the more acquisitive companies in Silicon Valley.
In fiscal 2017, the company tried to buy LinkedIn (purchased by Microsoft) and looked at buying the still-independent Twitter(TWTR) - Get Report , before ultimately deciding to pass. It was successful, however, buying Quip and a host of other companies, a strategy analysts believe is likely to play out in the future.
"We believe [Salesforce's] M&A strategy remains an important barometer for overall stock sentiment," DA Davdison analyst Jack Andrews wrote ahead of earnings. "We note that CRM acquired at least eleven companies in 2016, compared with a total of 13 acquisitions between 2012 and 2015. In light of CRM's failed pursuit of LinkedIn, any commentary regarding the company's strategy moving forward will likely serve to soothe investor sentiment."
DA Davidson has a neutral rating and a $80 price target on shares.
Analysts surveyed by Yahoo! Finance expect the company to earn 25 cents a share on $2.28 billion in revenue for the fiscal fourth quarter.
In addition to the company's M&A strategy, investors will be looking to hear whether Benioff can keep his promise to have salesforce be the first SaaS company to generate $10 billion in annual revenue, despite increased competition in the marketing and service cloud arenas from Oracle(ORCL) - Get Report and others.
"Our recent industry conversations indicated a high level of interest for the company's marketing cloud, service cloud, e-commerce cloud, and force.com platform," William Blair analyst Bhavan Suri wrote ahead of earnings.
Over the past 12 months, shares of Salesforce.com gained nearly 20%, compared to the near 25% gain in the S&P 500.
Here are five ETFs that may benefit if investors like Salesforce's fourth-quarter results.
iShares North American Tech-Software ETF
BMO Capital Markets analyst Keith Bachman is confident in the company's Marketing Cloud growth but cautions the company is likely to start to see more earnings growth and less revenue upside, similar to Adobe ADBE.
"Given current valuation, with some amount of residual caution driven by recent aggressive M&A (and unproductive use of energy/ time in the very public Twitter talks), we believe that ongoing modest rev and EPS upside will drive the shares higher," Bachman wrote ahead of earnings. He has an outperform rating and a $92 price target on shares.
First Trust Dow Jones Internet Index Fund
As artificial intelligence continues to play an important, if not deciding role in the future of technology, salesforce has been quick to add AI features to existing products. Oppenheimer analyst Brian Schwartz sees salesforce as well positioned and expects good momentum in fiscal 2018.
"We think if salesforce.com's core businesses (sales, service, marketing) stay stable, it will lead to a sustainable 20%+ growth trajectory, increasing cash flow growth, and higher Street forecasts," Schwartz wrote ahead of earnings.
First Trust ISE Cloud Computing Index Fund
William Blair's Suri, who rates salesforce outperform, expects the company to continue signing large deals within the enterprise and the government for its various cloud offerings and deal size should increase as well.
"We believe that the company's average deal size continued to increase throughout the quarter and expect that the company closed a healthy amount of seven-figure deals," Buri wrote ahead of earnings. "Our sense is that the company continues to witness solid demand across all of its core cloud solutions (sales, marketing, e-commerce, and services) and force.com platform."
SPDR Morgan Stanley Technology ETF
The $562.9 million SPDR Morgan Stanley Technology ETF (MTK) has Salesforce make up 3.07% of its portfolio, charging investors an expense ratio of 0.35%.
PowerShares Russell Top 200 Pure Growth Portfolio ETF
The $127.8 million PowerShares Russell Top 200 Pure Growth Portfolio ETF (PXLG) has Salesforce make up 2.6% of its portfolio, charging investors an expense ratio of 0.39%.