Cloud computing specialist Salesforce.com (CRM) - Get Report will report first-quarter fiscal 2017 earnings results after the closing bell on Wednesday. Based on recent analysts' estimates, shares of the San Francisco-based company are expected to pop on a combination of strong earnings results and upbeat guidance.
This could be a profitable trade.
For the quarter that ended in April, the average analysts' earnings-per-share estimate calls for 23 cents, on revenue of $1.89 billion. That would translate to year-over-year growth of 43% and 25%, respectively. For the full year, ending in January 2017, earnings are projected to rise 34.7% year over year to $1.01 per share, while full-year revenue of $8.12 billion would mark a 21.8% rise from the year-ago period.
Earnings from tech stocks have been a mixed bag so far this year. And the beating shares of cloud competitor Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Report have taken, despite exceeding analysts' cloud growth forecasts, is an ominous sign for Salesforce.com. But Salesforce.com stock, which closed Monday at $77.31, is still in a bullish uptrend. Based on the chart below, courtesy of TradingView, it could gain a 7% pop on its results Wednesday.
The solid blue arrow on the chart shows Salesforce's support line at around $74 per share. Thanks to the stock's 30% rise in the past three months, the shares are now above their critical 20-day ($75.78, shown by the blue line) and 50-day ($74.37, the pink line) and 100-day ($71.71, the yellow line) moving averages. This indicates the stock is technically intact.
If Salesforce.com, which has beaten analysts revenue estimates is four straight quarters, does so again, the shares should move higher.
Salesforce is still a revenue-growth story. If it can beat profit estimates and show strong profit margin growth, its stock could soar by double-digits on news, just like another cloud momentum story, Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report . The combination of strong revenue and profits could help the stock break resistance at $77.31 on its way to new resistance at $82 per share.
How to execute the trade: Place a market order on Tuesday at $77 to $78. Hold the shares through the earnings announcement, assuming resistance (the red arrow) at $77.31 becomes support. The bet is that Salesforce will beat on both the top and bottom line Wednesday, sending the shares higher to $82.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.