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Salesforce Stock Jumps as Analysts Cheer Broad Strength in Report

Salesforce analysts praise the CRM-software giant's second-quarter results, noting broad-based strength.
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Salesforce  (CRM) - Get Free Report rose after analysts praised the customer-relationship-management-software company's stronger-than-expected second-quarter results.

Shares of the San Francisco company at last check were 3% higher at $268.69.

Salesforce posted adjusted profit of $1.48 a share, ahead of the analyst forecast of 92 cents. Revenue moved up 23% to $6.34 billion, beating Wall Street's call for $6.24 billion.

Barclays analyst Raimo Lenschow raised his price target for Salesforce to $320 from $291 while affirming his overweight rating.

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"Strength seems to be broad-based between the different clouds and geographies, and hence, suggests that it is sustainable," Lenschow said in a research note.

"Management is also starting to deliver on its operating-leverage promises with another raise to operating and [free cash flow] growth guidance."

J.P. Morgan analyst Mark Murphy kept his overweight rating on Salesforce, which closed its purchase of business-communications platform Slack last month, while raising his price target to $310 from $250.

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"Salesforce.com stands out from almost any pack as the pioneering trailblazer of the cloud computing movement," Murphy said, "and it has blossomed into a true multiproduct success story as it now rides atop multiple product pillars of substantial scale and trajectory."

Morgan Stanley analyst Keith Weiss boosted his price target to $305 from $285, saying that "renewed discipline balancing growth and profitability was evident in Q2 results and the substantial raise to [fiscal 2022] revenue and margin targets."

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"With the solid performance we've seen in the broader software sector year to date (the average large cap is up 20%) it's difficult to find a strong franchise name, well positioned for key secular growth drivers, with improving fundamentals, trading at a significant discount to peers," said Weiss. The analyst kept his overweight rating for the stock.

Salesforce, he said, "is one of those names, in our view, and Q2 represents the first in a set of potential opportunities for the company to help dispel investor concerns and close the multiple gap versus peers."

Stifel analyst J. Parker Lane kept his buy rating on Salesforce while raising his price target to $315 from $295.

"With the 'new normal' of work and customer engagement upon us," he said, "Salesforce appears to be playing a highly strategic role for organizations across a variety of industries, evidenced by the strong growth of industry cloud, the inclusion of Tableau/MuleSoft in top-10= deals, and the sequential improvement in attrition rates."

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