May 3, 2015, 6:12 AM
- Shooting down a Bloomberg report from Friday, SAP said it hasn't ever considered acquiring online rival Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM).
- "There is no truth whatsoever to the suggestion SAP is considering or ever did consider acquiring Salesforce.com," announced an SAP spokesperson in an e-mailed statement.
- Many rumors have been on the loose since reports first surfaced last Wednesday stating Salesforce had been approached by a potential acquirer.
- Previously: Bloomberg: Salesforce, SAP discussed alliance, acquisition last year (May. 01 2015)
May 1, 2015, 4:36 PM
- Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) CEO Marc Benioff and SAP CEO Bill McDermott "held discussions last year about possible strategic alliances between the two companies," Bloomberg reports.
- The news service adds the talks covered "a potential acquisition of Salesforce by SAP." But it also states SAP wasn't the company that recently approached Salesforce about a possible acquisition (reported on Wednesday). With SAP currently worth $93B and Salesforce $48B, a deal would be closer to a merger than an acquisition after factoring an M&A premium.
- SAP, like Oracle, is a major rival of Salesforce in the CRM software market. Gartner estimates Salesforce and SAP respectively had 16% and 13% of the 2013 CRM market, #1 and #2 overall. They were followed by Oracle (10%), Microsoft (7%), and IBM (4%). Salesforce's 30.3% 2013 CRM sales growth outpaced all major rivals.
- Bloomberg's latest report follows remarks from Oracle co-CEO Safra Catz suggesting Oracle wasn't the company that recently approached Salesforce, and a BuzzFeed report to the same effect. Microsoft's name has often popped up in speculation about the suitor; IBM and Google have been mentioned to a lesser extent.
May 1, 2015, 3:44 AM
- Although declining to comment on whether Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) made an approach for Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM), Oracle Chief Executive Safra Catz stated her company could benefit if Microsoft or another rival bought the customer relationship management firm.
- "It would cause a lot of disruption in that market and so I would view that as something that would be helpful to us especially in the short or medium term, dependent on who it was," Catz said.
- Oracle has spent more than $60B on more than 100 acquisitions in its 38-year history but is "not known to throw around money," she added.
- Previously: Report: Oracle didn't make a bid for Salesforce (Apr. 29 2015)
- Previously: Salesforce reportedly approached by potential buyer; shares +15.4% (Apr. 29 2015)
Apr. 29, 2015, 10:39 PM
- Following an afternoon Bloomberg report stating Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) has been approached by a potential acquirer, many have speculated archrival Oracle is the suitor. However, BuzzFeed's John Paczkowski (formerly with Re/code) reports Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) hasn't made such a move.
- Outside of Oracle, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is the name that has popped up most often. The software giant (closed today with a $399B market cap) is large enough to swallow Salesforce, has relatively limited product overlap - its Dynamics CRM apps compete against Salesforce's apps, but generally with SMBs than enterprises - and has been hungry to grow its cloud exposure. It just set a target of nearly tripling its business cloud service revenue run rate by mid-2018.
- Also: Microsoft and Salesforce struck an Office 365-centered partnership last year. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff showed up today at Microsoft's BUILD developer conference to trumpet the integration of additional Microsoft and Salesforce apps/services, and made a few tweets about the partnership along the way.
- Salesforce closed up 11.6% today thanks to Bloomberg's report, and then rose 1% in AH trading to $75.41. Many cloud software peers also got a lift.
Apr. 29, 2015, 2:50 PM
- Bloomberg reports Salesforce (CRM) has been approached by a potential acquirer, and is working with bankers to field offers. Shares have soared in response.
- With a current $51B market cap, only a handful of enterprise tech companies could afford to digest Salesforce. The short list includes Oracle ($197B market cap), Microsoft ($400B), IBM ($173B), and just maybe SAP ($94B). Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), which has made plenty of cloud software acquisitions, just launched a $10B debt offering.
- Update: BuzzFeed reports Oracle wasn't the company that approached Salesforce.
Apr. 16, 2015, 4:32 PM
- Cloud IT service desk software leader ServiceNow beat Q1 estimates in spite of major forex headwinds, but also offered light Q2 and (to a lesser extent) full-year sales guidance, and forecast a slight Q/Q billings decline.
- Cloud CRM software leader Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) is down 1.1% AH to $67.20, and cloud HR/financials software leader Workday (NYSE:WDAY) is down 2.8% to $87.25. Both companies are expected to report next month.
Apr. 11, 2015, 7:04 PM
- Following an NYT column featuring remarks from exec Bill Hilf that that were taken to suggest HP (NYSE:HPQ) is exiting the public cloud infrastructure (IaaS) market, HP has told CRN it remains committed to the space. However, the IT giant adds (echoing Hilf's remarks) it's "not competing head-to-head with the big public cloud players," such as Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).
- HP's comments follow the February departure of top cloud exec Marten Mickos (joined via the Eucalyptus acquisition), and the splitting of his responsibilities between Hilf and two other execs. The company entered the public cloud market in 2012, and (like many other enterprise IT firms) has been a backer of the OpenStack IaaS platform (pitched as an open-source alternative to Amazon/Google/Microsoft's proprietary offerings). HP asserts it has the largest OpenStack public cloud in existence.
- HP's stance arguably highlights the challenges traditional enterprise IT names face in countering the cost and scale advantages possessed by IaaS market leaders, who have often eschewed the hardware of IT giants in favor of cheap white-label hardware produced by Asian contract manufacturers. HP has partnered with Taiwan's Foxconnn and Accton to offer white-box gear for cloud providers.
- Synergy Research estimates the broader "cloud infrastructure service" market (covers IaaS and PaaS, as well as private and hybrid clouds) grew 48% in 2014 to $16B, as more on-premise workloads get migrated to cloud environments and various cloud service providers relying on IaaS/PaaS infrastructures see rapid growth. Amazon towered over the space with a near-30% share, close to 3x that of #2 Microsoft. IBM, Google, and Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) rounded out the top 5.
Apr. 10, 2015, 6:37 PM
- Talks at a Thursday Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) Boston event "brought to light the fact that some customers were paying more than $1 million" for its Wave cloud analytics/business intelligence software platform, (launched last October) reports Pac Crest's Brendan Barnicle. He calls the info "very encouraging," given Pac Crest's models assume little Wave revenue.
- He adds that while recent checks pointed to some weakness in enterprise app spending due to security spend being prioritized, he didn't hear of similar weakness from Salesforce partners. Barnicle remains bullish on Salesforce in spite of concerns the FQ1 billings consensus might be too high.
- On the FQ4 CC (transcript), CEO Marc Benioff stated Salesforce had closed "very large transactions" for Wave, which sports a mobile-fist design and (much like offerings from Tableau/Qlik) aims to let non-IT workers manipulate and visualize business data. Disclosed customers included GE Capital, Merck, and Time Warner Cable.
- Meanwhile, Deutsche reported in a recent note Salesforce now gets 15% of its subscription/support revenue from its Heroku and Force.com cloud app platform (PaaS) units, and that Q/Q PaaS revenue growth has average 8% over the last 3 quarters (outpacing total growth).
- The firm added Force.com (enables business apps that integrate with Salesforce apps) has high penetration rates with Salesforce's Sales and Service Cloud bases, and a lower rate with its Marketing Cloud base (seen as an opportunity). It also thinks Force.com's margins are well above Salesforce's corporate average.
Apr. 2, 2015, 2:50 AM
- Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) discloses that CEO Marc Benioff's 2014 bonus rose 67% from a year ago, to $2.82M, based on his "achievement of specific corporate performance goals as well as individual performance."
- The company also described an unusual arrangement for its former Chief Financial Officer to stay on past his planned retirement.
- While the job description is vague, Graham Smith will stay with the firm as an adviser, earning the same salary, target bonus, stock-award vesting and perks he received as CFO.
Apr. 1, 2015, 7:06 PM
- In Feb. 2014, Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) announced CFO Graham Smith would retire in March 2015. Four months later, the cloud CRM software giant announced the hiring of Autodesk CFO Mark Hawkins as its new CFO. Today, Salesforce discloses Smith is staying with the company as an EVP.
- Smith's current job description is vague: Salesforce only says he'll advise CEO Marc Benioff on "projects reasonably assigned to him," and that these projects will include ones involving the Salesforce Foundation (provides discounted software for non-profits and educational institutions, among other things).
Mar. 2, 2015, 12:40 PM
- Citing valuation, Argus Research has downgraded Salesforce (CRM -1.8%) to Hold. The firm had launched coverage on the cloud CRM software leader at Buy back in Oct. 2013, when shares were at $52.58.
- The downgrade comes after Salesforce soared to new highs last week in response to its FQ4 report. Shares currently trade for 49x trailing free cash flow; the FY16 revenue growth consensus is at 21.3%.
Feb. 25, 2015, 5:37 PM
Feb. 25, 2015, 4:24 PM
- Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) is guiding for FQ1 revenue of $1.485B-$1.505B and EPS of $0.13-$0.14, slightly unfavorable to a consensus of $1.5B and $0.15. FY16 (ends Jan. '16) guidance is for revenue of $6.475B-$6.52B (+20-21% Y/Y) and EPS of $0.67-$0.69 vs. a consensus of $6.5B and $0.69.
- Forex (i.e. a strong dollar) is expected to have a $175M-$200M impact on FY16 revenue. With many other enterprise IT firms having offered below-consensus guidance thanks at least partly to forex pressures, Salesforce's outlook is going over well.
- Also going over well: The deferred revenue balance rose 32% Y/Y in FQ4 to $3.32B, an acceleration from FQ3's 28% growth. The unbilled deferred revenue balance rose 27% Y/Y to $5.7B; FQ3 growth was 29%.
- The deferred revenue growth helped Salesforce generate free cash flow of $246.9M, +23% Y/Y and well above net income of $92.8M. GAAP operating expenses rose 15% Y/Y to $1.12B (compares with 26% revenue growth) - sales/marketing spend totaled $736.1M, R&D $206M, and G&A $181.4M.
- Americas revenue (73% of total revenue) rose 29% Y/Y to $1.06B. European revenue rose 21% to $255M, and Asia-Pac 17% to $134M.
- CRM +8.9% AH to $68.44, making new 52-week highs along the way.
- FQ4 results, PR
Feb. 25, 2015, 4:08 PM
- salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM): Q4 EPS of $0.14 in-line.
- Revenue of $1.44B (+25.2% Y/Y) in-line.
- Shares +3.39%.
Feb. 24, 2015, 5:35 PM
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Feb. 20, 2015, 6:39 PM
- Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) has updated its Wave cloud business intelligence/analytics platform (launched last October to much fanfare) to include new tools meant to allow mobile users to quickly pull up and visualize data.
- The new tools: 1) Mobile Connector, which lets raw data be quickly pulled into Salesforce's Analytics Cloud mobile app, which then uses it to create visualizations. 2) Mobile Dashboard Designer, which allows analytics dashboards to be created and modified on a phone. 3) Links, which allows apps built on the Salesforce1 platform to connect to specific datasets, charts, and dashboards.
- The cloud CRM giant notes over half of its Analytics Cloud queries have come from mobile devices. As Tableau can vouch, corporate interest in BI/analytics tools that can easily be used by non-IT personnel is growing rapidly.
- Also launched by Salesforce: Heroku Enterprise, a new version of the Heroku cloud app development platform (PaaS) that sports collaboration, security (access control), and customer support features sought by enterprises. Heroku has been in pitched battle with fellow PaaS market leaders Microsoft and Amazon (among others).
- Salesforce's FQ4 report arrives on Feb. 25.
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