(Adds details from conference call, updates share price)
By Sruthi Ramakrishnan
Feb 27 Salesforce.com Inc raised its
full-year revenue forecast and said it aims to improve its
adjusted operating margin, after quarterly revenue grew more
than expected on strong sales at ExactTarget, an email marketing
firm it acquired in June.
The world's biggest maker of online sales software on
Thursday estimated revenue of $5.25 billion to $5.3 billion for
the year ending January 2015, compared with its previous
forecast of $5.15 billion to $5.2 billion.
Salesforce forecast adjusted earnings of 48-50 cents per
share for the full year.
That was largely below analysts' average estimate of 50
cents per share for the full year, according to Thomson Reuters
The full-year adjusted profit forecast implies adjusted
operating margin growth of 125 to 150 basis points, and assumes
no significant mergers and acquisitions by Salesforce for the
year ending January 2015.
Adjusted profit for the year ended January was 35 cents per
"We are committed to improving non-GAAP profitability by 125
to 150 basis points, which is a huge goal of mine for this year
and increasing cash flow growth this," Chief Executive Marc
Benioff said on a conference call with analysts. Salesforce aims
to keep delivering topline growth at an "outstanding" pace, he
Benioff said in November that he would seek to balance
"growth and profitability" without jeopardizing his company's
"outrageous" pace of revenue expansion.
Benioff, who founded Salesforce in 1999, has for years
shrugged off calls from Wall Street to turn a bigger profit by
arguing that it was more important to re-invest earnings to
increase its market share.
The San Francisco-based company also said its chief
financial officer of six years, Graham Smith, would retire in
Salesforce shares, which had closed at $66.20 on the New
York Stock Exchange, dropped 3 percent to $64 after hours but
later pared losses to trade at $65.98.
The company's net loss widened to $116.6 million, or 19
cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended Jan. 31, from $20.8
million, or 4 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, the company earned 7 cents per share, one
cent higher than analysts' expectations.
Revenue rose 37 percent to $1.15 billion and beat analysts'
expectations of $1.13 billion.
Salesforce's unbilled deferred revenue, a critical measure
of contracts that have been closed with business customers but
remain off-balance sheet, rose to $4.5 billion, up 29 percent
from a year earlier.
(Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bangalore; Editing by
Savio D'Souza and Richard Chang)