Salesforce delivers strong Q4, outlook solid

Summary:CEO Marc Benioff touted the company’s $3 billion in annual revenue and growth rates.

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Salesforce.com reported better-than-expected fourth quarter results and delivered a solid outlook for the first quarter and year ahead.

The company reported a fourth quarter net loss of $20.84 million, or 14 cents a share, on revenue of $835 million, up 32 percent from a year ago. Non-GAAP earnings were 51 cents a share in the quarter.

Wall Street was expecting fourth quarter earnings of 40 cents a share on revenue of $830.85 million.

As for the outlook for the first quarter, Salesforce's guidance was largely in line to better than expectations. The company said first quarter revenue will be between $882 million and $887 million with a net loss of 44 cents a share to 42 cents a share. Non-GAAP earnings in the first quarter will be 40 cents a share to 42 cents a share.

Wall Street was expecting first quarter non-GAAP earnings of 42 cents a share on revenue of $886 million.

For fiscal 2014, Salesforce said that revenue will be $3.82 billion to $3.87 billion. The net loss and non-GAAP earnings projections were largely in line. Wall Street was projecting non-GAAP earnings of $1.95 a share on revenue of $3.85 billion.

Here's the earnings outlook:

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Chief executive Marc Benioff touted the company’s $3 billion in annual revenue and growth rates.

"No other top 10 enterprise software company is growing faster," he said during an investor call. "We signed more than 150 multi-million dollar transactions. That included nine eight-figure transactions in the quarter. Pretty epic."

"[We're] on the way to our 10 billion dollar dream."

He added that Salesforce was on track to "replace SAP as the number one CRM company in the world."

By the numbers:

  • The company ended the quarter with $1.8 billion in cash and equivalents.
  • Deferred revenue was $1.86 billion, up 35 percent from a year ago. Unbilled deferred revenue was up 39 percent to $1.8 billion in the quarter.
  • Services revenue in the quarter was $49.18 million and subscription and support sales came in at $785.5 million.
  • Research and development spending for the year was $429.5 billion, up from $295.3 billion in fiscal 2012.

"By 2017, chief marketing officers are going to spend more than chief information officers on technology," Benioff said, citing Gartner statistics.

Recent stories about Salesforce on ZDNet:

Topics: Enterprise Software, Cloud, Salesforce.com

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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