Salesforce.com Beats Estimates, Shares Choppy

Tickers in this article: CRM

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Salesforce.com shares were swinging between gains and losses in afterhours trading Monday, as investors braced for developments out of the company's massive annual Dreamforce developers' conference and projected fourth-quarter earnings below expectations.

Shares of the customer relationship giant were down 0.74% to $55.10 at last check.

During the company's quarterly conference call, CEO Marc Benioff spoke about the company's revamped mobile platform Salesforce1, which the company revealed on Monday ahead of a more detail announcement expected on Tuesday at Dreamforce.

"The impact of Salesforce1 is a completely new approach to our platform as well as our sales cloud and marketing cloud," Benioff said on the call. "It will change how our customers run their customers and connect with their customers."

San Francisco-based salesforce.com expects fiscal fourth-quarter revenue to be between $1.12 billion and $1.13 billion, versus the average analyst estimate of $1.12 billion. it expects to earn between 5 and 6 cents per share, below the consensus estimate of 7 cents.

For the third-quarter, salesforce reported a 36% year-over-year increase in sales to $1.08 billion, benefiting it says, from the acquisition of email marketing firm ExactTarget, a deal that closed in July. Subscription and support revenues came in at $1 billion, a 36% increase. Professional services and other revenues grew 50% to $72 million.

A total revenue of $1.055 billion was expected, according to analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.  Deferred revenue increased 34% to $1.73 billion.

"Salesforce.com is the first enterprise cloud computing company to deliver a $1 billion quarter, with outstanding third quarter revenue growth at 36%," said Benioff. "Given the strong customer response to our next generation social and mobile cloud technologies, I'm delighted to announce that we expect to deliver our first $5 billion year during our fiscal year 2015."

Third quarter earnings per share of 9 cents a share came in as expected.

Gross margin declined to 75.1% from 76.4%, amid a 44% rise in input costs. Operating expenses rose 38% as research and development costs jumped 50%.

-- Written by Andrea Tse