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Salesforce raises full-year earnings guidance following its acquisition of Slack

Marc Benioff, billionaire and co-founder and chief executive officer of Salesforce.com Inc., pauses during a panel session on the opening day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. World leaders, influential executives, bankers and policy makers attend the 50th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos from Jan. 21 – 24. Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Jason Alden | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Salesforce shares rose as much as 3% in extended trading on Wednesday after the enterprise software maker reported fiscal second-quarter earnings and forward guidance that exceeded analysts’ estimates.

Here’s how the company did:

  • Earnings: $1.48 per share, adjusted, vs. 92 cents per share expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv
  • Revenue: $6.34 billion, vs. $6.24 billion expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv

Revenue increased 23% year over year in the quarter, which ended July 31, the company said in a statement. In the prior quarter revenue grew 23%.

Salesforce’s Platform and Other unit, which includes the MuleSoft integration software and Tableau data-analytics software, delivered $1.88 billion in revenue, which was up 24%.

The Service Cloud segment posted $1.60 billion in revenue, representing about 23% growth.

Salesforce’s core Sales Cloud product, which salespeople use to stay on top of business opportunities, had $1.48 billion in revenue, up 15%.

Salesforce has reopened about half of its offices so far after closing them last year with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I don’t think the delta variant will be material to our business,” CEO Marc Benioff said during a conference call with analysts. “If anything, it only accelerates it.”

In the quarter Salesforce completed its $27.7 billion acquisition of team communication app company Slack. Also in the quarter Salesforce announced plans for tools targeting investment banks through its Financial Services Cloud, and it said it would release Work.com software for employee wellness.

With respect to guidance, Salesforce said it sees 91 to 92 cents in adjusted fiscal third-quarter earnings per share on $6.78 billion to $6.79 billion in revenue. Analysts polled by Refinitiv had been looking for 82 cents in adjusted earnings per share and $6.66 billion in revenue.

Salesforce raised its earnings and revenue guidance for the full 2022 fiscal year.

It now sees $4.36 to $4.38 in adjusted earnings per share and $26.2 billion to $26.3 billion in revenue. Consensus among analysts polled by Refinitiv was $3.82 in adjusted earnings per share and $26.01 billion in revenue. The revenue figure includes $530 million from Slack, which is $30 million more than Salesforce had predicted one quarter earlier. Slack’s revenue grew by 39% on a standalone basis in the quarter, said Amy Weaver, Salesforce’s finance chief.

Salesforce is increasingly using Slack.

“We are beginning to sell through Slack,” Gavin Patterson, Salesforce’s chief revenue officer. “The most powerful presentations sales teams give are often Salesforce on Salesforce, and so Slack on Slack is a very compelling way to explain how we use the product.”

The company projected that its operating margin for the fiscal year would be 1.8%, wider than the 1.4% guidance from the previous quarter.

Notwithstanding the after-hours move, Salesforce shares are up 17% since the start of 2021, while the S&P 500 index has risen almost 20% over the same period.

WATCH: Marc Benioff: We’re about to pass SAP as largest enterprise software company

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