Salesforce.com First-Quarter Earnings Beat Estimates, but Lowered Guidance Disappoints

Sales management software-maker

Salesforce.com

(CRM) - Get Report

said Thursday that its first-quarter profit almost doubled, as sales rose 23% from last-year's levels, but its shares plummeted as the company lowered its full-year guidance for the second time.

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The San Francisco-based company reported first-quarter net income of $18.4 million or 15 cents per share, up 92% from $9.6 million or 8 cents per share in the year-ago period. Revenue jumped 23% to $304.9 million from $247.6 million in the same quarter last year.

Both quarterly profit and revenue results beat analysts' expectations. On average, Wall Street analysts expected a profit of 11 cents per share on revenue of $304.7 million. Salesforce.com said that subscription and support revenue gained 25% percent in the period to $281.8 million, while professional services and other revenue rose a more modest 4%, to $23.1 million.

Looking ahead, the company predicted a second-quarter profit of 14 to 15 cents per share on revenue of $312 million to $313 million. Analysts expect 13 cents on $319.2 million in revenue.

Salesforce.com's full-year guidance was the enduring story from the report, however. The company lowered its full-year 2009 revenue guidance for the second time to a range of $1.25 billion to $1.27 billion, despite raising its EPS guidance to 59 cents to 60 cents. Analysts were expecting full-year profits of 55 cents per share on higher revenue of $1.31 billion. The lowered guidance sent Salesforce.com's shares down $3.07 or 7.8%, in morning trading Friday.

Shares of Salesforce.com are nearly 50% off the 52-week high of $74 a share. The stock has technical support in the $31 to $32 price area. If the stock can bounce back after today's drop, we see overhead resistance around the $45 price level. We do not currently rate this non-dividend paying stock, but do watch the tech software giant closely.

Aeropostale First-Quarter Profit Jumps 81%, Guides Above Estimates

Clothing retailer

Aeropostale

(ARO)

said late Thursday that its first-quarter profit rose a whopping 81% over last year's levels, propelled by strong clothing sales at its namesake stores.

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The New York City-based company reported first-quarter net income of $31.7 million or 47 cents per share, up from $17.5 million or 26 cents per share in the year-ago period. Excluding one-time charges derived from shutting its Jimmy'z stores, adjusted profit was 49 cents per share.

Revenue rose 21% to $408 million from $336.3 million in the same quarter last year. On average, Wall Street analysts expected adjusted profits of 48 cents per share on revenue of $404.7 million.

Same-store sales rose an encouraging 11% in the quarter, bucking the trend of most other retailers. Same-store sales are considered a key indicator of a retailer's health, since they measure the performance of stores open at least one year.

Looking ahead, Aeropostale predicted second-quarter profits to range between 46 cents and 48 cents per share, excluding store closing costs. This guidance easily bested the average analyst estimate for 37 cents per share, excluding items. Aeropostale shares rose 71 cents or +2.2% in morning trading Friday.

Shares of Aeropostale are getting close to the 52-week high of $37 a share. The stock has technical support in the $26 price area. If the shares can build on recent strength, we see overhead resistance around the $36-37 price levels. We do not currently rate this non-dividend paying stock, but we do watch the leading teen retailer closely.

Foot Locker Reports In-Line First-Quarter Revenue, Profit Beats Estimates

Sneaker and apparel retailer

Foot Locker

(FL) - Get Report

said Thursday that its first-quarter profit improved from last year's levels and beat analysts' estimates.

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The New York City-based company reported first-quarter net income of $31 million or 20 cents per share, compared with $3 million or 2 cents per share in the year-ago period. Revenue fell 7% to $1.22 billion from $1.31 billion in the same quarter last year, hurt by the stronger dollar and lower sales.

On average, Wall Street analysts expected profits of 13 cents per share on slightly higher revenue of $1.23 billion. Foot Locker said that same-store sales, a key metric that measures sales of stores open at least one year, fell 2.4% in the quarter.

The company cited lower operating expenses and higher gross margins for the higher profit, saying that selling, general and administrative expenses fell almost 9% from year-ago levels to $860 million. Foot Locker shares fell 34 cents or 3.4%, in morning trading Friday.

We had removed shares of Foot Locker from our "recommended" list on Sept.17 when the stock traded at $17.19. The company has a 5.74% dividend yield based on last night's closing stock price of $10.45.

The stock has technical support in the $7 to $8 price area. If the stock can shake off this morning's early weakness, we see overhead resistance around the $12 to $13 price levels. We would remain on the sidelines for now. Foot Locker holds a Dividend.com DARS Rating of 3.1 out of 5 stars.

Autodesk Reports First-Quarter Loss, Announces Job Cuts

Design software-maker

Autodesk

(ADSK) - Get Report

said Thursday that it lost $32 million in the latest quarter, hurt by several one-time items, but adjusted profits beat estimates and Wall Street praised its job cut announcement.

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The San Rafael, Calif., company reported a first-quarter net loss of $32.1 million or 14 cents per share, compared with a profit of $94.6 million or 41 cents per share in the year-ago period. Excluding a $21 million goodwill impairment charge and $16.5 million in restructuring charges, however, AutoDesk posted an adjusted profit of 18 cents per share. Revenue fell 29% from year-ago levels, to $425.8 million from $598.8 million.

On average, Wall Street analysts had expected a profit of 8 cents per share on sales $419.1 million. To combat the sales slowdown, AutoDesk announced it would lay off about 430 employees, which represents approximately 6% of its total workforce of 7,800.

The company, which makes the popular AutoCAD design software, said it expects second-quarter adjusted earnings of 15 cents to 20 cents per share, on revenue of $395 million to $420 million. On average, Wall Street analysts expect 14 cents per share on sales of $413 million.

Autodesk shares surged $2.15 or 11% in morning trading Friday on the heels of the report.

Share of AutoDesk are nearly 50% off the 52-week high of $41 a share. The stock has technical support in the $14 to $15 price area. If the shares can build on today's early pop, we see overhead resistance around the $23 to $27 price levels. We do not currently rate this non-dividend paying stock, but we do follow the software company closely.

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At the time of publication, the author had no positions in stocks mentioned, although positions may change at any time.

Tom Reese and Paul Rubillo are senior editors of Dividend.com. Visit Dividend.com for more dividend stock ratings, picks, news, and analysis for long-term and income-seeking investors.