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Salesforce beats Q4 estimates, Slack adds record number of paid customers

In spite of the solid performance for the quarter, Salesforce shares were down slightly in after-hours trading.
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Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Staff Writer on

Salesforce beat market expectations with its fourth quarter financial results, published Thursday. Slack, the collaboration platform Salesforce acquired in December for an eye-popping $27.7 billion, also announced solid fourth quarter results, adding a record number of new paid customers. In spite of the strong quarter, Salesforce shares were down in after-hours trading amid market skepticism over the acquisition.  

Salesforce's fourth quarter non-GAAP diluted earnings per share came to $1.04 on revenue of $5.82 billion, up 20 percent year-over-year.  

Analysts were expecting earnings of 75 cents on revenue of $5.68 billion. 

For the full fiscal year 2021, non-GAAP diluted earnings per share were $4.92 on revenue of $21.25 billion, up 24 percent year-over-year. 

"We never could have predicted a year ago what was in store, which makes me incredibly proud of how well we pivoted our company to adapt to this pandemic world," CEO Marc Benioff said in a statement. "We had a record quarter and year by innovating more and faster than ever, enabling our customers to be successful from anywhere, and becoming more relevant and strategic than ever. And we continued to serve all of our stakeholders in a time when they needed it most." 

Fourth quarter Salesforce's subscription and support revenues were $5.48 billion, an increase of 20 percent year-over-year. Professional services and other revenues for the quarter were $0.34 billion, an increase of 18 percent year-over-year.

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Salesforce's subscription and support revenues come from its portfolio of CRM products, which is broken down into four segments: sales, service, marketing and commerce, and platform and other.

In Q4, marketing and commerce grew 27 percent, bringing in $900 million. Platform and other increased by 26 percent to hit $1.8 billion. Service grew 19 percent to $1.4 billion. Sales grew 11 percent, reaching $1.4 billion. 

For the full year, subscription and support revenues were $19.98 billion, up 25 percent year-over-year. Professional services and other revenues for the year were $1.28 billion, up 21 percent year-over-year. 

"Platform and other" saw the most growth in the fiscal year, increasing 40 percent to hit $6.3 billion. Marketing and commerce grew 25 percent, bringing in $3.1 billion. Service grew 20 percent to $5.4 billion. Sales grew 13 percent, reaching $5.2 billion.

Salesforce raised its first quarter FY22 revenue guidance to about $5.875 billion to $5.885 billion. 

Slack, meanwhile, brought in $250.6 million in total revenue for the quarter, bringing it over the $1 billion revenue run rate mark.

The company added 14,000 net new paid customers in Q4, up 180 percent from the same quarter last year.

Slack ended the year with 156,000 total paid customers, up 42 percent year-over-year. It has more than 1,180 paid customers with greater than $100,000 in annual recurring revenue, up 32 percent year-over-year. It has more than 106 paid customers with greater than $1 million in annual recurring revenue, up 51 percent year-over-year.

Total revenue for the year was $902.6 million, an increase of 43 percent year-over-year.

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