Shares of Salesforce to hit $90 in medium term
I remain upbeat about the shares of Salesforce.com (CRM), a US-based provider of enterprise cloud computing solutions. I believe that the company’s diverse cloud offerings and considerable spending on digital marketing will remain the major growth drivers. Moreover, strategic acquisitions and the resultant synergies are expected to benefit over the long run.
Salesforce’s financials for its fiscal 2017 third quarter were decent. Revenues increased 25.3% y-o-y to $2.145 bn exceeding both management’s guided range of $2.11-2.12 bn and consensus estimate of $2.116 bn. The improvement was primarily attributable to rapid adoption of the company’s cloud-based solutions. Geographically, the company witnessed revenue growth of 27%, 27% and 29% in the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific, respectively. Adjusted operating expenses increased 24.7% to $1.528 bn due to higher investments in research and development, marketing and sales, and general and administrative activities. But as a percentage of revenues, operating expenses contracted 30 basis points to 71.3%. Adjusted operating income (including stock-based compensation but excluding amortization of acquisition-related intangibles) was $67.8 mn compared with the year-ago figure of $82.7 mn. Non-GAAP earnings per share grew 14.3% to 24 cents topping expectations by 5 cents. During the first three quarters of fiscal 2017, the company generated operating cash flow of $1.456 bn and free cash flow of $1.136 bn.
Buoyed by strong FQ3 performance, Salesforce raised its full fiscal year 2017 guidance. Revenues are now anticipated in the range of $8.365-8.375 bn representing 25-26% y-o-y increase. Non-GAAP earnings per share forecast was lifted to 97-98 cents from 93-95 cents. Besides, Salesforce anticipates that its target of $10 bn in revenues will be achieved in fiscal 2018.
Recently, shares of Salesforce exceeded their 50-day moving average. I expect the stock to continue to rise, with medium-term target at $90.