FYQ1: Salesforce.com Sees Cloud Strength, Alludes (Slightly) To Future M&A Potential

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Q1artSalesforce.com reported fiscal first-quarter 2015 revenue of $1.23 billion, up 37% year over year at 11 cents per share. This beat analyst estimates of $1.21 billion at 10 cents per share. (Earnings release)

Salesforce.com added significant head count – more than 900 – to its employee base this quarter. This was up 38% year over year; Salesforce.com now has 14,200 employees.

“We have a lot of other great growth drivers, especially with our Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud and (Salesforce1 mobile-first) platform, but our flagship sales product remains a dominant part of the company’s success,” said CFO Graham Smith on Salesforce.com’s earnings call.

Although Salesforce.com continued to tout the importance of cross-cloud integration across client portfolios, there was one marked difference on Tuesday’s earnings call than preceding ones – the company did not break out revenues by product.

For the sake of a reference point, the Salesforce.com ExactTarget Marketing Cloud drove $96 million in FYQ4 revenue; it was $81 million the prior quarter. This could be indicative of Salesforce.com’s (and others') intentions to unify or, at least, present a unified front to customers and potential customers that want to go the suite route. In the case of Salesforce.com, this means broadening product sell-in beyond “cloud” boundaries.

This, however, did not stop analysts from addressing Marketing Cloud integration questions, as Heather Bellini, managing director and equity analyst for Goldman Sachs (and two others) peppered Salesforce.com chairman and CEO Marc Benioff with questions around the “completeness” of its marketing solutions portfolio.

“It’s a very important market and we started with Radian6 and social listening [and] moved into social publishing with Buddy Media and ExactTarget, a comprehensive application we’ve really taken to a whole new level with our Journey Builder capabilities,” he responded.

That said, Benioff was opaque about future M&A moves, but acknowledged “there are gaps we want to fill in, but when we will fill them and with what companies is not as easy and straightforward as it was in the past. We honestly think we got the best company” through the $2.5 billion acquisition of ExactTarget.

“We always look for great companies, entrepreneurs and revenue streams” when evaluating acquisition targets, he said.

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