salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE:CRM) shares are rising close to 3% after exciting investors with strong third-quarter earnings. From Brean Capital analyst Yun Kim‘s perspective, this dispels “any notion that last quarter’s subpar performance in its enterprise business was more than a one quarter hiccup.”
Therefore, on back of billings growth rebounds returning to above 20% coupled with robust guidance for the company’s fourth financial quarter, the analyst reiterates a Buy rating on CRM with a $110 price target, which represents a 41% increase from where the shares last closed.
For the third quarter, CRM outclassed both the analyst’s as well as the Street’s expectations across the board, from billings to revenue to cash flow, riding a rebound tide thanks to its enterprise business. CRM posted 19% year-over-year in billings growth, a robust result in comparison to its own 12% guidance, Kim’s projection for 12%, and the Street’s for 13%.
Revenue growth reached 27% year-over-year, and the cloud computing giant benefited from an all-time high number of transactions banking in the range of seven figures, a considerable expansion. This is particularly significant, as the analyst believes this indicates a sign that the giant has become the new standard in terms of enterprise, representative of an ever-growing ecosystem.
For the fourth quarter, CRM issued “meaningfully better implied” billings growth guidance in the range of 23 to 25%, compared to both the analyst’s and consensus expectations of 21%. Additionally, the company guided to fourth-quarter revenue growth of 25 to 26%, once again beating both the analyst and the Street who call for 24%. Revenue guidance for the financial year of 2018 continues CRM’s string of beats. Meanwhile, non-GAAP EPS guidance for the fourth quarter falls “in line” with the analyst’s and consensus estimates. Operating cash flow guidance has been reiterated for the year. In reaction, Kim has boosted projections for revenue, billings, margin and EPS looking ahead for the company. Another solid strength weighing in CRM’s favor is its deferred commissions, which Kim finds to be the ideal signifier of bookings, further demonstrating strength for the company.
Kim finds CRM, or as he refers to the company, SDFC, to be not just in an ideal position, but he wagers to venture it surpasses the position of any competing vendor in the market. Moreover, the analyst asserts, “We continue to believe that SFDC is at an inflection point in its evolution. […] We see this as a key turning point in the enterprise software landscape and believe that SFDC is well positioned for incremental growth driven by increasing number of enterprise standardization deals going forward, which will continue to result in increasing strength in its large deal business.”
“However, we acknowledge cautious investor sentiment (due to SFDC’s recent pursuit of large acquisitions) could limit valuation multiples from expanding fully to reflect its strong fundamentals. In our view, disciplined acquisition strategy serves as a key growth driver for the company as it begins to benefit from its emerging status as the de facto enterprise standard,” Kim concludes.
According to TipRanks, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, four-star analyst Yum Kim is ranked #465 out of 4,229 analysts. Kim has a 63% success rate and realizes 9.3% in his yearly returns. However, when recommending CRM, Kim loses 0.7% in average profits on the stock.
TipRanks analytics exhibit CRM as a Strong Buy. Based on 34 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 31 rate a Buy on CRM, 2 maintain a Hold, while 1 issues a Sell. The average 12-month price target stands at $93.19, marking a 20% upside from where the stock is currently trading.