Salesforce’s Marc Benioff tells of ‘whirlwind’ of recent business for software giant

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Saying that the last few months have been a “whirlwind” of business and activity, Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) co-Chief Executive Marc Benioff touted the business-software company’s resilience in a conference call with industry analysts on Tuesday.

Benioff was speaking with regards to Salesforce’s (CRM) fiscal first-quarter results, in which the company reported a profit of 98 cents a share, excluding one-time items, on $7.41B in revenue. During the same period a year ago, Salesforce (CRM) earned $1.21 a share, on $5.96B in revenue.

Wall Street analysts had forecast Salesforce (CRM) to earn 94 cents a share on revenue of $7.38B.

The results send Salesforce (CRM) shares up more than 7% in after-hours trading.

The “whirlwind” that Benioff spoke about involved him directly, as he said he recently returned to the U.S. after meeting with customers in Sydney, Davos, Switzerland, and for the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic more than two years ago, Tokyo. Benioff said the company is “carefully watching the economic data” and that Salesforce (CRM) hasn’t seen “any greater impact” from the worldwide economic situation that continues to deal with supply chain issues, Covid-related shutdowns in parts of China, the war between Russia and Ukraine and rising inflation in the U.S.

“Salesforce has been through all kinds of crises,” Benioff said. “We continue to weather this storm.”

Benioff said that one thing having an effect on Salesforce (CRM) is currency exchange rates that have strengthened the U.S. dollar. “The dollar might have even had a stronger quarter than we did,” Benioff said.

As such, Benioff said Salesforce (CRM) was trimming its full-year revenue forecast to a range of $31.7B to $31.8B, from an earlier estimate of $32B to $32.1B.

“We see strong demand across our clouds and industry,” said Salesforce (CRM) co-CEO Bret Taylor. “Our products are more relevant than ever. The digital transformation trends that accelerated during the pandemic are moving full steam ahead.”

Salesforce (CRM) shares have been on the rebound since touching a 52-week-low of $154.55 on May 20. Earlier this month, Roth Capital analyst Richard Baldry raised his rating on Salesforce’s (CRM) stock on anticipation that its business will continue to improve in the second half of the year.

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