Seeking Alpha, inc. (CRM)

  • Thu, Apr. 16, 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.
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  • Sat, Apr. 11, 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.
  • Fri, Apr. 10, 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 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 (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's margins are well above Salesforce's corporate average.
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  • Thu, Apr. 2, 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.
  • Wed, Apr. 1, 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).
  • Mon, Mar. 2, 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%.
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  • Wed, Feb. 25, 5:37 PM
    • Top gainers, as of 5:15 p.m.: ELX +24.5%. CRM +10.5%. ARC +9.4%. GPOR +9.0%. CLUB +7.1%.
    • Top losers, as of 5:15 p.m.: WAL -10.4%. IL -8.1%. MMSI -7.3%. MATX -6.1%. INFI -5.0%.
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  • Wed, Feb. 25, 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
  • Wed, Feb. 25, 4:08 PM
    • (NYSE:CRM): Q4 EPS of $0.14 in-line.
    • Revenue of $1.44B (+25.2% Y/Y) in-line.
    • Shares +3.39%.
    • Press Release
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  • Tue, Feb. 24, 5:35 PM
  • Fri, Feb. 20, 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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  • Thu, Feb. 12, 2:22 PM
    • A slew of enterprise IT names are outperforming after Cisco beat estimates and respectively reported 10%, 8%, and 7% Y/Y growth in enterprise, SMB, and public sector orders. The Nasdaq overall is up 1%.
    • Cisco reported particularly strong figures for enterprise-focused business lines: Switching revenue rose 11%, wireless (Wi-Fi-dominated) 18%, collaboration 10%, and data center (UCS servers) 40%. Service provider demand (orders -1%) remained soft.
    • Enterprise standouts include EMC (EMC +2.5%), VMware (VMW +2.3%), SAP (SAP +3.1%), (CRM +3.8%), NetSuite (N +2.6%), Teradata (TDC +4.6%), Splunk (SPLK +2.5%), Varonis (VRNS +3.9%), Gigamon (GIMO +2.8%), and NetScout (NTCT +2.7%).
    • EMC's gains comes in spite of rival NetApp's FQ3 miss and soft FQ4 guidance; share loss to EMC, which has been seeing healthy mid-range and scale-out NAS storage growth, could be partly to blame. VMware is adding to the Wednesday gains seen following a Bernstein upgrade.
    • Earlier: Telecom/networking stocks rally thanks to Cisco
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  • Fri, Jan. 30, 11:54 AM
    • Salesforce (CRM -2.2%), ServiceNow (NOW -2.2%), Paylocity (PCTY -5.8%), Castlight (CSLT -4.1%), Cornerstone OnDemand (CSOD -3.6%), InContact (SAAS -2.2%), and Zendesk (ZEN -2.1%) are selling off after cloud ERP/HR/e-commerce software vendor NetSuite (N -11.7%) offered light Q1 and 2015 sales guidance to go with a Q4 beat. The Nasdaq is down 0.4%.
    • As one would expect, NetSuite states forex has much to do with its guidance. On the CC (transcript), CFO Ronald Gill noted "the weighted average value of the foreign currencies in which we recognize international revenue has fallen more than 8% against the dollar." However, it's worth noting only 27% of NetSuite's Q4 revenue was international.
    • NetSuite's Q4 numbers were solid: Subscription/support revenue grew 34%, and billings rose 34% to $201M (well above revenue of $157.9M). 54 customers were added for NetSuite's SuiteCommerce e-commerce software platform - CEO Zach Nelson humbly observes that was more than 3x the 17 customer adds rival Demandware (DWRE -1.6%) reported for Q3 (a seasonally weaker quarter).
    • ServiceNow, the top player in the cloud IT service desk software market, provided above-consensus guidance on Wednesday.
  • Thu, Jan. 22, 8:58 AM
    • Arista Networks (NYSE:ANET): Price target $95 vs. current $64.28. Implied upside: 48%.
    • Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS): PT of $110 vs. current $75.19. Implied upside: 46%.
    • Ingram Micro (NYSE:IM): PT of $35 vs. current $25.49. Implied upside: 37%.
    • Synaptics (NASDAQ:SYNA): PT of $87 v. current $63.78. Implied upside: 36%.
    • FireEye (NASDAQ:FEYE): PT of $45 vs. current $34.22. Implied upside: 31.5%.
    • (NYSE:CRM): PT of $70 vs. current $57.71. Implied upside: 21%.
  • Dec. 18, 2014, 2:04 PM
    • With the help of stronger-than-expected hardware sales, Oracle (ORCL +9.2%) beat FQ2 estimates in spite of a 400 bps forex headwind (twice what was originally expected). FQ3 guidance was conservative after taking forex pressures into account.
    • The numbers have been good enough for Oracle to surge to new highs and receive a slew of target hikes, and to lead many enterprise tech names to outperform amid a big market rally. The Nasdaq is up 1.9%.
    • Microsoft (MSFT +3.2%), Cisco (CSCO +2.3%), EMC (EMC +3.7%), VMware (VMW +5.1%), and beaten-down IBM (IBM +2.8%) are among the enterprise tech names outperforming today. Others: SPLK +4.6%. CA +3.5%. RHT +3.4%. VRNS +6.3%. PCTY +5.8%. JIVE +4.6%. VMEM +5.2%. SAAS +4.7%. BRCD +3.8%.
    • Oracle's healthy cloud software numbers are drawing attention: While traditional software license revenue fell 4% Y/Y, its SaaS/PaaS revenue rose 41%. SaaS/PaaS bookings totaled $170M, and are expected to be "well over" $1B in FY16 (ends May '16). Fusion cloud app bookings rose over 100%.
    • On the CC (transcript), Oracle performed its customary trash-talking of cloud app rivals. "We are clearly growing faster than Salesforce (CRM +4%) and were more than three times the size of Workday (WDAY +3.2%)." Both firms are posting solid gains.
    • Oracle's numbers come as Bloomberg reports the Chinese government is looking to "purge most foreign technology from banks, the military, state-owned enterprises and key government agencies by 2020." IBM, Cisco, and other U.S. firms have already seen their Chinese sales fall sharply following last year's NSA spying uproar.
  • Dec. 12, 2014, 5:42 PM
    • Salesforce's (NYSE:CRM) AppExchange Store Builder leverages technology used to create the company's AppExchange store (offers business apps that work with Salesforce's cloud apps) to allow enterprises to create custom stores for distributing and managing apps across multiple platforms.
    • Salesforce is offering the solution for free to users who already have a Salesforce license, and charging $5/user/month to those who don't. Gartner forecast last year 25% of enterprises will have a private app store by 2017.
    • MobileIron (NASDAQ:MOBL), SAP, VMware's AirWatch unit, and several startups compete in this space. In addition, Microsoft plans to include enterprise app store support in Windows 10.
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Company Description Inc provides enterprise cloud computing solutions, offering social and mobile cloud apps and platform services, as well as professional services to facilitate the adoption of its solutions.
Sector: Technology
Country: United States