Salesforce earnings beats expectations

Software-as-a-service company reports 14 percent increase in earnings over last year for the third-quarter and raises guidance for 2011.

The cloud message the Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff continues to preach seems to be paying off.

For its third quarter, Salesforce reported earnings of 32 cents, a 14 percent increase over the year-ago quarter, on sales US$429 million, a 30 percent increase over last year. Wall Street analysts had been expecting earnings of 31 cents on sales of US$409.8 million.

Looking ahead, the company said it expects fourth quarter revenue to be between US$447 million and US$449 million. For the fiscal year, the company is raising its 2011 revenue guidance to be between US$1.647 billion and US$1.649 billion. The company also initiated guidance for its fiscal year 2012, projecting US$1.97 billion to US$2 billion in revenue. In a statement, Benioff said:

After taking a decade to achieve our first billion dollar year in fiscal 2009, we believe that our strong growth this year will allow us to deliver approximately US$2 billion in revenue in fiscal 2012, making the first cloud computing company to achieve that milestone," said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO

Read more of "Salesforce earnings: Beats expectations, raises guidance as cloud grows" at ZDNet.