Salesforce.com posts a loss but beats Q1 expectations; raises outlook

Following a three-month period that included a massive and ambitious blueprint for a new global headquarters, Salesforce.com turned in its first quarter earnings report after the bell.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

Salesforce.com recently unveiled plans to lay down a huge new footprint in San Francisco in the coming years, but it's time to see how Wall Street felt about that -- and the last three months -- first.

The CRM giant reported a first quarter net loss of $96.9 million, or 16 cents per share (statement).

Non-GAAP earnings were 11 cents per share on a revenue of $1.23 billion, an uptick of roughly 37 percent annually.

Wall Street was expecting earnings of a dime per share on a revenue of $1.21 billion.

In response, Salesforce shares were up by approximately 1.2 percent in after-hours trading, according to MarketWatch.

By department, subscription and support revenues rang up to $1.15 billion, up 36 percent year-over-year.  Professional services and other revenues were $79 million, an increase of 58 percent year-over-year. 

Ahead of the quarterly shareholders call on Tuesday afternoon, CEO Marc Benioff reflected on the quarter in prepared remarks:

Salesforce.com had a strong start to its fiscal year. We delivered 37% year-over-year growth in revenue, and 67% year-over-year growth in operating cash flow in the first quarter. Salesforce.com continues to be the #1 CRM platform, and is the fastest growing top ten software company in the world.

For the current quarter, Wall Street expects Salesforce to return with earnings of 12 cents per share on a revenue of $1.27 billion.

Salesforce responded with a revenue guidance range of $1.285 billion to $1.290 billion, which would turn out to be an increase of 34 percent to 35 percent year-over-year. The cloud company aims to deliver earnings of 11 to 12 cents per share.

For the year, Salesforce raised its revenue outlook to $5.30 billion to $5.34 billion, an increase of 30 percent to 31 percent year-over-year, with earnings between 49 and 51 cents per share.

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