Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of customer relationship management specialist Salesforce.com
So what: Beat, beat, and beat. That was the story of Salesforce's third-quarter report. Sales of $429 million were up 30% from last year and topped analysts' estimates. Adjusted earnings per share of $0.32 climbed 14% year over year and edged past expectations. And to top it all off, the company introduced fiscal 2012 sales guidance of $1.97 billion to $2 billion which -- drum roll please! -- was more than Wall Street was hoping for.
Now what: I'll admit right up front that I'm not generally a growth investor and so that may have a lot to do with why the excitement over the stock makes me scratch my head. But while sales growth has been growing at an impressive clip, the company's net income has pretty much stagnated. It's only when you allow the company to ignore the cost of issuing shares to its employees (which I don't agree with) that you can show that earnings had any meaningful growth. Combine that with the fact that the shares are trading at astronomical multiples -- and that's whether you're looking at earnings or cash flow multiples -- and this is a stock that simply looks too hot to handle. That said, the folks at our Rule Breakers service have hit a major home run with Salesforce, and think that the strength of the underlying business and the platform that the company has created mean that more gains could still be ahead.
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Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter @KoppTheFool or on his RSS feed. The Fool's disclosure policy assures you no Wookiees were harmed in the making of this article.