Salesforce Drops On First-Ever Single Digit Sales Growth Forecast

Salesforce drops

Salesforce Drops

Salesforce drops as much as 17% in premarket trading. This decline came after the company announced that its sales growth for the current quarter would slow to the lowest rate in its history. This news raised concerns about Salesforce’s relevance in the rapidly evolving landscape of artificial intelligence (AI).

Revenue Growth Hits Record Low

Salesforce projected its revenue would increase by up to 8% to reach $9.25 billion for the period ending in July. This marks the first quarter of single-digit sales growth for the company in nearly two decades as a publicly traded entity. Analysts had estimated a slightly higher figure of $9.35 billion, according to Bloomberg data. Profit, excluding certain items, is expected to be around $2.35 per share, falling short of the average estimate of $2.40 per share.

Investor Concerns and Market Reactions

Investors have been wary of Salesforce’s declining sales growth over the past year. The company shifted its focus towards profitability. Management has highlighted the potential of AI-oriented software and features to drive future revenue. However, the recent figures have not alleviated investor concerns. This has resulted in a substantial premarket share price drop to $225.05. If this decline persists, it would represent the largest intraday decrease since August 2008. Despite the recent AI hype, Salesforce’s stock has only gained 3.2% this year. This performance trails behind hardware and chip companies like Nvidia Corp. and Dell Technologies Inc., which have seen substantial rallies.

AI and Future Prospects

Chief Executive Officer Marc Benioff emphasized the company’s strategic shift towards profitability and the long-term benefits of AI. “We’re incredibly well positioned to help companies realize the promise of AI over the next decade,” Benioff stated. However, most analysts do not anticipate significant revenue contributions from generative AI features within Salesforce applications until 2025 or 2026.

Focus on Data Cloud

Salesforce’s Data Cloud, which organizes information for analysis and AI applications, is a major focus area for the company. The business unit encompassing Data Cloud, Mulesoft, and Tableau saw a 24% revenue increase to $1.4 billion. This figure surpassed analysts’ expectations of $1.36 billion.

Acquisition Strategies and Market Moves

Salesforce recently explored acquiring Informatica Inc., a data-organization software company. This move highlights its commitment to expanding in this product category. However, the acquisition talks did not materialize. Despite some investor resistance to large acquisitions following the $27 billion Slack purchase in 2021, Executive Vice President Mike Spencer reaffirmed that inorganic growth remains integral to Salesforce’s strategy. Benioff, during a conference call, assured that any potential large-scale acquisitions would be thoroughly evaluated to ensure they are accretive and beneficial to customers.

First Quarter Performance

In the fiscal first quarter ending April 30, Salesforce reported an 11% increase in revenue, reaching $9.13 billion. The profit, excluding certain items, stood at $2.44 per share, exceeding analysts’ average estimate of $2.38 per share on revenue of $9.15 billion.

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