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Salesforce Climbs After Profit Report

The company also raises its sales forecast for fiscal 2006.
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topped first-quarter profit forecasts by a penny and said revenue rose 84% from a year ago, and after the close of Wednesday's session the company raised its guidance for fiscal 2006.

Investors gave their approval in extended trading, sending Salesforce shares higher by $1.16, or 7%, to $17.

The company, a provider of customer relationship management services, said it earned 4 cents a share in the quarter, compared with the 3 cents analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting. Total revenue was $64.2 million, an increase of 84% from last year and up 18% sequentially.

Paying subscribers rose to 267,000, up 82% from the prior year. During the first quarter, the company added about 1,600 customers and 40,000 paying subscribers.

Salesforce, based in San Francisco, now expects fiscal 2006 revenue of $297 million to $302 million, up from its prior guidance of $282 million to $287 million. Earnings should be 11 cents to 14 cents a share vs. the previous forecast of 11 cents to 13 cents.

The company also provided second-quarter guidance, saying it expects revenue of $68 million to $70 million and earnings of 2 cents to 4 cents a share. Analysts are looking for earnings of 3 cents a share and revenue of $68 million.

For the fiscal year, the consensus forecast is for a profit of 14 cents and revenue of $287.8 million.