salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM) reported fiscal 2020 first-quarter results on June 4. The software-as-a-service titan delivered sharply higher sales and profits, prompting management to boost its outlook for the year ahead.

Salesforce.com results: The raw numbers

Metric

Q1 2020

Q1 2019

Change

Revenue

$3.74 billion

$3.01 billion

24%

Operating cash flow

$1.97 billion

$1.47 billion

34%

Adjusted EPS

$0.93

$0.74

26%

Data source: Salesforce.com Q1 2020 earnings release.

What happened with Salesforce.com this quarter

Salesforce is growing even more dominant in its core customer relationship management (CRM) market. During a conference call with analysts, Chairman and co-CEO Marc Benioff noted that Salesforce gained more market share in 2018 than its closest 15 competitors combined. 

The software giant is also enjoying strong demand for its data integration services. It became a leader in this rapidly growing industry with its $6.5 billion acquisition of MuleSoft in 2018. In the first quarter, revenue in Salesforce's platform segment, which houses MuleSoft, surged 46% to $842 million.

"Our strong revenue growth in the quarter reflects the strength of our business and the tremendous demand we're seeing from customers worldwide," co-CEO Keith Block said in a press release. "Companies of every size and industry are undergoing a digital transformation to better serve their customers, and they are choosing Salesforce as their partner."

A person pointing to a button labeled digital transformation

Businesses are turning to Salesforce to help them adapt to an increasingly digital world. Image source: Getty Images.

Moreover, Salesforce's profitability is improving as it expands its revenue base. The company's adjusted operating margin -- which excludes share-based compensation and acquisition-related items -- increased 122 basis points to 18.2%. Salesforce also continues to strengthen its cash generation; operating cash flow surged 34% to $1.97 billion.

Better still, Salesforce's growth is likely to remain robust in the coming quarters. The company's remaining performance obligation, which represents contracted revenue that has not yet been recognized, increased 22% to $24.9 billion.

Looking forward

These solid results prompted Salesforce to raise its revenue and earnings forecast for fiscal 2020. Management lifted the high end of its revenue guidance by $200 million to $16.25 billion, representing year over year growth of 22%. Additionally, Salesforce now expects to generate GAAP earnings per share of $0.78 to $0.80 and adjusted EPS of $2.88 to $2.90, up from prior estimates of $0.66 to $0.68 and $2.74 to $2.76, respectively. 

Looking further ahead, Benioff said Salesforce is well positioned to double revenue on an organic basis over the next four years and achieve its revenue target of $26 billion to $28 billion in fiscal year 2023. 

"We have never been positioned for the future better than we are right now," Block said.