Cloud Earnings Highlights: Salesforce (CRM), Workday (WDAY), Veeva Systems (VEEV)

Tom Paine

Salesforce slightly beat expectations for Q1 of its 2021 fiscal year, reporting net income of 70 cents per share on revenue of $4.87 billion, up 30% from the prior year. The company dropped its revenue forecast for the full year by $1 billion to $20 billion.

Salesforce expects earnings between $2.93 and $2.95 per share, down from previous expectations 0f $3.10 per share.

Salesforce’s deal with AT&T (Wireless) is one of the ‘largest transactions we’ve ever done,’ says Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff.

Workday showed profits of 44 cents per share (excluding certain items) on revenue of $1.02 billion, up 23% from a year ago. It also lowered its forecast for the year.

Workday will offer a new integration with Salesforce’s Work.com to help joint customers plan for the safe reopening of their workplaces in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

I find it intruiging to see the two companies working together, and wonder if that collaboration might lead to bigger thing in the future.

Pleasanton, CA-based Veeva Systems, Inc., with east coast offices in Radnor, had a tremendous start to its fiscal year 2021. Revenue was up 38% from the prior year to $337.1M, while net income was $86.6 million, up 18%. Veeva benefited from customer activity created by Covid-19, the general pace of change in the industry, and the continued fleshing out of its product line.

Matt Wallach, who retired from his role as president of Veeva Systems as of June 2019, returned as a non-managerial board member in January as planned. Wallach is also involved in the startup community, such as serving on the board of HealthVerity.

Looking at Salesforce vs SAP present & future

Update 2/9: Salesforce (CRM) briefly passed SAP (SAP SE) in total market value for the 1st time during the past week .

As of Friday close (2/7)

Market CAP:

CRM $164.7bn

SAP SE $165.2bn

Comparison Chart. https://yhoo.it/2H35VQO

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Tom Paine

I’ve been wondering for some time whether Salesforce’s (NYSE: CRM) growth would falter, but it really hasn’t yet in a big way. Though a string of acquisitions have had a dilutive effect, investors have rewarded it with a growth premium in terms of a higher Price to Earnings (PE) ratio. Its somewhat akin to what happened last year when Netflix briefly surpassed Comcast in market value. Such a PE advantage, though tenuous, gives Salesforce a strong currency for acquiring others.

Salesforce may be on the verge of becoming a more powerful enterprise player than the possibly capital-constrained SAP, under pressure from an activist investor, in spite of its considerably smaller revenue & profit base.

Comparative share prices: Salesforce (light blue) vs SAP (dark blue) Past 5 years

CRM Mkt cap$146.8B
SAP SE Mkt cap$162.4B

In 2018, SAP redesigned & retargeted its CRM, but its way too early to measure how effective that relaunch has been.

SAP CRX ( Qualtrics): The acquisition of Qualtrics opens up an adjacent market to CRM that Salesforce isn’t much of a player in today.

Salesforce could move more into SAP’s space:

Salesforce Options

  • Buying WorkDay would appear financially feasible, though WDAY founders control voting stock (they won’t allow another Peoplesoft). WDAY brings Financial ERP as well as HCM.
  • Continue partnerships or consolidate RootStock & Financial Force (manufacturing & financial ERP)
  • Buy Zoho if available. Threat to cannibalize Salesforce’s own core business, but could be like Microsoft’s Great Plains acquisition

Salesforce acquisition target list leaked in 2016 – What’s happened since

Adobe Mkt cap 134.91B, essentially the same as CRM

LinkedIn . Acquired by MSFT for $26.2 billion

Workday . Mkt Cap $39.9 billion

ServiceNow . Mkt Cap $50.8 billion

Netsuite . Acquired by Oracle for ~$9.3 billion

Tableau Acquired by Salesforce for $15.7 billion

Pegasystems . Mkt Cap $5.7 billion

Qlik Acquired by Thoma Bravo for $3 billion

Veeva . Mkt Cap $21.7 billion

Box . Mkt Cap $2.6 billion; Recent activist stake

Demandware . Acquired by Salesforce for $2.8 billion

Zendesk Mkt Cap $8.6 billion

Marketo Acquired by Adobe for $4.8 billion

Hubspot . Mkt Cap $6.8 billion

Salesforce’s Mulesoft acquisition last year was totally off the chart. SAP owns no equivalent.

Salesforce needs to decide whether to build a strategy around smaller customers, or double down on larger customers.

Salesforce is also likely looking at ways to accelerate its CRX ambitions.

Another possibility is a dead stop to Salesforce’s organic growth, but that seems unlikely given the size and projected growth of the market

Not discounting Oracle at all, but see it more as a hard engineering company, inconsistent in end user applications.