Salesforce Q1 earnings: in line; $893m revenue

The enterprise software company reports financial results for its fiscal first quarter 2014. Here's a look at the numbers.
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor on

Salesforce, the U.S. enterprise software company, this afternoon reported quarterly earnings per share of $0.10 on revenue of $893 million for the quarter ended April 30, 2013.

That's in line with analyst expectations of earnings of $0.10 per share on revenue of $887.1 million.

Numbers to know:

  • Subscription and support revenues: $842 million, an increase of 29 percent over the same period a year ago
  • Professional services and other revenues: $50 million, an increase of 25 percent over the same period a year ago
  • Total revenue for the quarter was up 28 percent over the same period a year ago.
  • Cash and equivalents totaled $3.1 billion. Interestingly, the company raised $1.15 billion through the issuance of convertible 0.25% senior notes, due in 2018.

In terms of outlook, the company projected Q2 revenue between $931 million and $936 million, an increase of 27 to 28 percent year over year. For the fiscal year 2014, it projected between $3.835 billion and $3.875 billion.

The company's stock (CRM) was immediately down five percent in after-hours trading as investors punished it for guidance that reflects slowing revenue growth, even as it revised its annual guidance upward. Exacerbating the drop may have been a run-up on the company's shares just before the closing bell.

Chief executive Marc Benioff offered little color in prepared remarks: "Salesforce.com delivered another quarter of strong growth, with constant currency revenue, deferred revenue, and operating cash flow all growing 30 percent or more year over year."

Salesforce's performance has been mostly positive over the last four years, and it beat investor expectations 11 of the last 15 quarters, with only one major miss. Historically, it has regularly posted strong growth numbers, thanks to increasing adoption of its Sales Cloud, Service Cloud and Marketing Cloud offerings.

But that progress has been eroded by rising marketing and R&D costs as the company pushes into new areas of business, particularly for Marketing Cloud, which is positioned to address companies' growing interest in marketing over social media channels.

Indeed, in Q1 the company's marketing expenses rose to $466 million (from $370 million the same period a year prior) and its R&D costs rose to $132 million (from $95 million the same period a year prior).

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