Salesforce.com's Q2: Beats estimates despite another loss, soft outlook

UPDATED: Benioff told shareholders during the conference call to expect a brand new line of service to be unveiled at Dreamforce in a few weeks.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

Salesforce.com published second quarter earnings after the bell on Thursday, hovering around or above analyst targets on most accounts.

The cloud giant reported a net loss of $61.1 million, or 10 cents per share (statement).

Non-GAAP earnings were 13 cents per share on a revenue of $1.32 billion, up 38 percent annually

Wall Street was looking for earnings of 12 cents per share with revenue of $1.29 billion.

Subscription and support revenues were $1.23 billion, an increase of 37 percent, while professional services climbed by roughly 58 percent to $86 million.

The San Francisco-headquartered business also scored more brownie points with shareholders and customers earlier in the day as Forbes Magazine heralded Salesforce.com as the most innovative company worldwide for the fourth year running.

Focusing on the full year rather than the most recent or current quarters on their own, CEO Marc Benioff talked up revenue in prepared remarks:

Salesforce.com continues to be the fastest growing top 10 software company with 38 percent year-over-year growth in revenue, and more than 30 percent year-over-year growth in deferred revenue and operating cash flow in the second quarter. I'm delighted to announce that we are once again raising our fiscal year 2015 revenue guidance by $30 million, to reach $5.37 billion at the high end of our range, which is a full year growth rate of 32%. We have now raised our fiscal 2015 revenue guidance by $170 million since we first initiated guidance last year.

For the current quarter, Wall Street is looking for earnings of at least 13 cents per share with revenue of $1.37 billion.

Salesforce followed up with Q3 revenue guidance of $1.365 billion to $1.370 billion, which would translate to an uptick of 27 percent year-over-year, with earnings expected to drop around 12 to 13 cents per share.

Although the Q3 outlook was a bit soft, the CRM provider upped its annual outlook, projecting revenue between $5.340 billion to $5.370 billion, up 31 to 32 percent year-over-year, with earnings between 50 to 52 cents per share.

UPDATED: Amid noting the recent openings of new datacenters and headquarters scattered across Europe, Benioff told shareholders and analysts during Thursday's conference call to expect a brand line of service soon.

Set to be unveiled at Dreamforce 2014, touted by Benioff as the largest event in technology, the co-founder didn't reveal any specifics except to say it will form the "fifth leg of the stool."

As it floats now, the Salesforce platform is comprised of the Sales, Service, and ExactTarget Marketing clouds, among other products such as Salesforce 1, which held center stage amid its debut at Dreamforce 2013 last November.

Dreamforce 2014 is scheduled to run from October 13 to 16 at Moscone Center in San Francisco.

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