Salesforce (NYSE: CRM) reported fiscal Q4 2020 earnings, beating analyst expectations but the big news was that co-CEO Keith Block stepped down leaving Marc Benioff in control of the company.
Revenues for the cloud-based customer resource management company came in at $4.85 billion for the quarter, ahead of consensus estimates of $4.756 billion.
Salesforce has a history of posting solid revenue growth quarter after quarter and this quarter was no exception as revenues grew 35% compared to the same quarter the previous year.
One area where the company hasn’t been as good a performer is in showing improvements in margins. Given that Salesforce recently acquired data visualization firm Tableau for $15.7 billion, investors were closely watching how the integration would impact the consolidated company’s ability to make money.
For the quarter, Salesforce posted gross margins of 75% and operating margins of -1%, which were quite similar to the same quarter the previous year.
Another closely watched metric from Salesforce is their current remaining performance obligation (CRPO) guidance which is revenue the company has under contract but that hasn’t been recognized on the books yet as the obligation is forthcoming. With the Tableau acquisition potentially enhancing the value proposition for the software as a service provider, investors will be looking at the CRPO to determine if contract renewals increase. In the earnings release the company indicated CRPO guidance of 26% for their next quarter which beats that of previous quarters.
While Salesforce is still losing money on the bottom line on a GAAP basis with a loss of $0.28 per share this past quarter, on an adjusted basis the company reported earnings of $0.66, which beat Wall Street expectations of $0.56 per share.
The company also updated their guidance for the upcoming fiscal year, raising revenue expectations to $21 billion to $21.1 billion from $20.8 billion to $20.9 billion for their fiscal 2021. Analysts had been expecting revenues of $20.93 billion for the year.
Salesforce stock didn’t have the best of years in 2019, returning 19% over the course of the year in a market where the S&P 500 grew by 31%. However, the stock has had a resurgence in 2020, gaining 14% in the year to date as investors continue to like it’s healthy growth prospects.
After releasing earnings, Salesforce stock was down 2% in after market trading as of the time of publishing.
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