salesforce.com's (NYSE:CRM) stock price rose by double-digits following its successful fiscal 2015, only to subsequently drop to pre-earnings report levels. Apparently, short-term investors are taking quick gains following its strong fiscal year. But the CRM king expects even bigger things going forward.
Management, primarily CEO Marc Benioff and CFO Mark Hawkins, outlined several areas of potential growth for fiscal 2016. If the team can deliver on the objectives shared during its recent conference call, today's consensus analyst price target approaching $75 a share may be just the beginning.
It's all about the data
Given its leadership position in customer relationship management, or CRM solutions, salesforce.com users compile and utilize reams of data. Historically, users' customer data generated reminders, tracked schedules, and provided a means of efficient communication. But in today's world of business intelligence, or BI, an automated event reminder is woefully simplistic, and that's where salesforce.com comes in.
Salesforce's "wave analytics cloud" is a potential game changer. The "data science" solution, as Benioff described it, is an ecosystem that utilizes BI to give users actionable results -- and it's a hit. Benioff said Salesforce wave analytics has already landed several "significant deals," and ranks as the company's most successful product launch ever. In fact, Salesforce's newest solution is part of its strategic partnership with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). Saleforce is integrating its Power BI tool, among other services, into Microsoft's cloud-based Office 365 and Excel platform.
$10 billion, here we come
Both Benioff and Hawkins wasted little time alluding to the fact that Salesforce, among all enterprise software companies, generated $5 billion in revenue in the least amount of time. That is a large part of the reason Salesforce's stock price rose following its earnings report. But Benioff made it clear that $5 billion is not the final goal.
While fiscal 2015 revenue rose by 32%, to $5.37 billion, Benioff's objective is for salesforce.com to become "the fastest software company to $10 billion" -- and it is well on its way. As management noted, deferred revenue for the year was also up 32% year over year to $3.32 billion. That is revenue billed but not yet recognized, meaning salesforce.com generated nearly $9 billion in total sales last fiscal year.
Bigger is better
Along with record revenue, Hawkins said fiscal 2015 sales included "550 seven or eight figure new deals," a 33% improvement from the prior year. Hawkins didn't share the average size of the new deals, but suggested that was also up. Add in anticipated multimillion-dollar sales of the wave analytics cloud solution, and it's no wonder salesforce.com expects a strong fiscal 2016.
It's not just the size and frequency of new sales that has salesforce.com management all aglow, Hawkins also said existing customers are using its solution more than ever. Salesforce now boasts "more than 3 billion enterprise transactions daily."
The Americas region accounted for 73% of total company revenue last quarter, followed by Europe at 18% and the Asia-Pacific region at a meager 9%. Hawkins cited the strong U.S. dollar as one factor in the geographic revenue disparity, but also acknowledged growing internationally is a primary objective in fiscal 2016 and beyond.
Towards that end, Salesforce plans to open additional data centers in Europe this year, including facilities in France and Germany, in addition to its new operation in the U.K. The new data centers should jump-start Salesforce's plans for revenue diversification, and they are a clear indication the company recognizes the need for, and opportunity in, global expansion.
The more the merrier
Though Salesforce has major clients across multiple industries, it has primarily focused on the financial and insurance services market; that's about to change, according to Hawkins. In conjunction with the rollout of, "several new products," Salesforce intends to expand its target markets to six as it moves further into fiscal 2016.
When asked why six, Benioff said Salesforce's success to date is largely due to the ability to "speak our client's language." Salesforce's plans to target a few strategic markets, as opposed to stretching itself too thin, is a prudent approach to broaden its market horizons.
What will Salesforce do for an encore in fiscal 2016? In addition to executing on its core objectives, the company also plans on another record year, raising its revenue guidance to the $6.475 billion to $6.52 billion range, or about 21% above 2015's results. This is another reason each share price decline makes Salesforce an even better investment opportunity.