It's been two weeks since Dreamforce, Salesforce's annual conference, and investors will soon have another chance to hear about the the company's product vision and financial outlook.
The software giant reports its October quarter (fiscal 2020 Q3) earnings on Tuesday after the close, and analysts polled by FactSet are expecting earnings of 66 cents per share on $4.45 billion in revenue. Salesforce shares were falling 0.1% to $160.85 on Tuesday and are up about 17% this year.
1. The Longer-Term Outlook
Given that its annual investor day was only two weeks ago, investors already have a lot of information and broadly know what to expect out of the next few quarters. So don't expect any huge stock moves after Tuesday's release, noted Jeff Marks, analyst with Jim Cramer's Action Alerts Plus portfolio, which owns Salesforce. "With two quarters left on Salesforce.com's fiscal year, what the upward revision in fiscal 2020 guidance and the reiteration of 20% organic revenue growth over the longer term means to us is that the potential for either upside or downside should be somewhat removed from this release," Marks said.
Expect management to reiterate its bullish outlook that digital transformation will continue to propel high growth, even in the face of macro headwinds.
2. Details on Updated Targets
On Salesforce's investor day, the company raised its long-term outlook, saying that it plans to double in size over the next four years, with an updated revenue target of $34 billion to $35 billion by fiscal 2024 (it's guided for $17 billion for fiscal 2020.)
Investors are undoubtedly eager for more details on how it plans to get there, and what roles organic growth and acquisitions will play in meeting that target. Among the potential risks facing Salesforce's stock, Morgan Stanley analyst Keith Weiss cited the possibility that "M&A may complicate organic growth calculations and raise concerns about core business strength." Investors will be listening for more on what M&A means for Salesforce's margins and overall balance sheet.
3. Plans for Tableau
Salesforce has touted its success in turning its acquisitions into revenue powerhouses, telling investors that Mulesoft, for example, has grown more than 50% year over year since Salesforce bought it in 2018. Other acquisitions have also thrived under the Salesforce tent.
Tableau, which Salesforce purchased several months ago for $15.7 billion, is its latest big-ticket acquisition. While Salesforce didn't give any specific guidance on how Tableau will perform in the quarters to come, investors can expect "distribution synergies, perhaps acceleration," wrote JP Morgan analyst Mark Murphy in a recent note.
"Co-CEO Keith Block referenced how Salesforce has accelerated growth of MuleSoft and advised investors to think about the possibilities of taking that playbook and applying it to Tableau," Murphy pointed out. At Salesforce's investor day, Tableau CEO Adam Selipsky said the wheels are in motion for integrating the two companies, and investors could hear more about how that's going on Tuesday.
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