Shares of cloud-based software pioneer Salesforce.com (CRM 0.75%) are down 2.4% as of 12:15 p.m. EDT, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence. The market in general is down today, and tech stocks in particular are getting hit as interest rates tick up again on concerns about inflation (higher interest rates decrease the value of long-term earnings, thus hurting stocks).
A lot of other news items are weighing on investors this week as well, like the debt-laden real estate developer China Evergrande Group and Congress' debate on the debt ceiling that risks a U.S. government default on payments if an agreement isn't reached on time.
Meanwhile, Salesforce is doing just fine. At its recent investor day presentation, the company cited a report from tech researcher IDC that predicts some $10 trillion will be spent on digital transformation (that's when an organization updates its operations for the cloud computing era) through 2024. Given the rosy outlook, Salesforce stock has been on a tear this year and recently hit new all-time highs. A cool-off isn't so unusual, though it might be easy to pin today's decline on economic and geopolitical factors.
Long-term Salesforce investors need not fret. Instead, focus on the massive potential this cloud software leader still has. It upped its revenue guidance for the current fiscal year once again and is expecting 24% full-year growth, and provided an initial outlook for 20% top-line growth next year. The company's goal of reaching $50 billion in annual sales by fiscal year 2026 (which corresponds with calendar year 2025) still stands. That's nearly double what Salesforce is on pace to haul in this year.
For a company of such size, doubling to $50 billion in just a few years time is an ambitious target -- but not uncharted territory for co-founder and CEO Marc Benioff and the top team. Salesforce is the fastest-ever enterprise software company to reach the size that it has and has built up a track record of delivering on its aspirations. Given the rapid acceleration in digital transformation hastened by the pandemic, Salesforce looks exceptionally well positioned to make a lot of hay while the sun is shining.