Swings to a Profit

The company narrowly beats Wall Street's earnings estimates.
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delivered a small upside to the solid fourth quarter that Wall Street was expecting as the business software company swung to a profit from a year-ago loss.

The market's initial take on the results was positive. In recent after-hours trading, shares were up 90 cents, or 6.4%, to $15, after gaining 10 cents during the regular session.

In a postclose announcement Thursday, Salesforce posted net income of $3.6 million, or 3 cents a diluted share, compared with a loss of $765,000, or 2 cents a share, a year ago. Total revenue in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2005 was $54.6 million, an increase of 82% year over year.

Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting a 2-cent profit on sales of $52.5 million.

The company gave guidance for the first quarter of fiscal 2006, saying EPS will range from 1 cent to 3 cents a share on sales ranging from $58 million to $60 million. Analysts were projecting a 2-cent profit and revenue of $58.9 million.

For the full year, the company is expecting a per-share profit of 11 cents to 13 cents and revenue of $282 million to $287 million, an increase from earlier guidance of $282 million to $285 million.

Wall Street was expecting a 13-cent profit on sales of $283.38 million.