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Salesforce.com 1Q profit down, outlook disappoints

Thu, 05/20/2010 - 2:30pm

Online business software maker Salesforce.com on Thursday said its fiscal first-quarter profit fell despite a 24 percent jump in revenue, as expenses climbed.

The results met Wall Street expectations, but the company's guidance fell short of analysts views, sending the stock down sharply in aftermarket trading.

For the three months ended April 30, Salesforce.com said net income slid 4 percent to $17.7 million, or 13 cents per share, compared with $18.4 million, or 15 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

The per-share results reflect a 5.5 percent increase in the number of outstanding shares.

Adjusted for stock-based compensation, certain interest expenses and other one-time items, adjusted profit came to 30 cents per share in the latest quarter.

Revenue leaped to $376.8 million from $304.9 million last year.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial, on average, expected profit of 30 cents per share on revenue of $367.9 million. Analysts did not count stock-based compensation, and typically exclude other one-time items from their estimates.

Operating expenses rose 28 percent to $272.2 million, with gains across research and development, marketing and sales and general and administrative costs. The company's cost of sales rose 16 percent to $71.6 million.

Net paying customers rose to approximately 77,300 in the quarter, up about 30 percent in the past year.

For the fiscal second quarter, Salesforce.com expects adjusted profit of 26 cents to 27 cents per share.

On that basis, analysts projected adjusted profit of 31 cents per share.

The company forecast second-quarter revenue between $381 million and $383 million, while analysts expect $375.5 million.

For the full fiscal year, the company expects adjusted profit, excluding items between $1.13 and $1.15 per share on revenue between $1.55 billion and $1.56 billion, Salesforce.com said.

Analysts predicted adjusted profit of $1.28 per share on revenue of $1.54 billion.

In late trading, Salesforce.com shares fell $4.46, or 5.6 percent, to $74.57, after closing the regular session down $2.57, or 3.2 percent, at $79.03. The stock has ranged from $35.10 to $89.84 over the past year.

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