Fellow Fool Anders Bylund nailed it when he predicted that battleground stock salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM ) would beat estimates again. Without further ado, let's break down the digits.
Fourth-quarter revenue jumped 38% to $632 million -- a solid beat relative to the $623 million revenue consensus. By the time you get to the bottom line, you may encounter a familiar feeling, with the non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.43 also putting the $0.40 Street estimate to rest. Meanwhile, operating cash flow rose 45% to $240 million.
For the full year, revenue increased 37% to $2.27 billion, with non-GAAP earnings of $1.36 per share.
Salesforce's revenue pipeline keeps on growing, with its deferred revenue balance jumping 48% to $1.38 billion. The current portion of deferred revenue increased by 41%, which was boosted by longer invoice durations, so part of that bump is strictly related to a change in invoice terms. Unbilled deferred revenue put up an encouraging gain of 47% to $2.2 billion.
Those solid digits are contributing to some upbeat guidance figures. First-quarter revenue is forecasted in the range of $673 million to $678 million, ahead of the $663 million that the Street was looking for next quarter. On the other hand, the non-GAAP earnings-per-share guidance of between $0.33 and $0.34 is a hair shy of $0.36 that analysts are calling for.
Full-year 2013 sales guidance has now been cranked up from previous figures to a new range of between $2.92 billion and $2.95 billion, with the bottom line expected to be between $1.58 and $1.62 per share.
CEO Marc Benioff chalked up the guidance bump to "strong customer response" to the company's social-enterprise moves. This quarter is a stark contrast to the last report, when shares plunged as billings growth disappointed. It also differs from larger rival Oracle's (Nasdaq: ORCL ) most recent report, which sent shivers through IT investors' bones.
Oracle and SAP (NYSE: SAP ) have been snapping up cloud-software makers in the meantime, but I wouldn't expect any bids for salesforce.com any time soon, considering its nearly $20 billion market cap and nearly five-digit P/E. The good news is that salesforce.com is doing just fine on its own.
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