It's almost like a broken record by now, but Salesforce had another great quarter when it reported its Q4 2017 earnings earlier this week.
The company raked in $2.2 billion in revenue for the quarter, up 27 percent year over year. What's more, it pulled in $8.39 billion for fiscal 2017, up 26 percent year over year.
To put the meteoric rise into perspective, we charted the year-end numbers going back to 2013 using data from Salesforce's investor reports:
|Fiscal year||4th quarter revenue||Year-end revenue|
|2013||$835 M||$3.05 B|
|2014||$1.15 B||$4.07 B|
|2015||$1.44 B||$5.37 B|
|2016||$1.81 B||$6.67 B|
|2017||$2.29 B||$8.39 B|
While the company still hasn't reached the vaunted $10 billion revenue goal, if it continues on the current trajectory, it surely will in fiscal 2018. In fact, the company's guidance for fiscal 2018 crosses that $10 billion goal with a projection of between $10.15 B and $10.20 B for the next fiscal year. The company boasted about the possiblity in its press release:
"And for fiscal 2018, we expect to deliver more than $10 billion in revenue — reaching that milestone faster than any enterprise software company in history. No other software company of our size and scale is growing at this rate," Salesforce vice chairman, president and COO Keith Block said in a statement.
Taking the acquisition train
What we can see from this data is a company growing steadily on a yearly basis, and one that has more than doubled its revenue in five years. The consistency of the growth is what is most impressive. They have had patches of slow-downs, but nothing that has had a significant impact on its year-end numbers going back to 2013.
Part of that can probably be attributed to the buying spree it's been on. According to data on Crunchbase, the company has made over 20 purchases since 2013. Some of those purchases, especially the larger ones have very likely added customers and revenue, which is why you tend to buy a company. The other reason is talent and they've done that too.
While all the news looked terrific whether looking back or looking ahead, one small thing was not in line with expectations, and it was something that clearly caught the attention of investors in after-hours trading the day of the report.
In spite of the mostly positive report, the company downgraded their projection for next quarter. It's still pretty substantial at $2.34B-$2.35B, but analysts were projecting $2.37 B. Tough audience when you're still growing quarter over quarter and year over year, but when Wall Street sees something forward looking that's not in line with projections, it tends to punish the stock.
Days later, the price was back up as Investor's Daily attributed the "light outlook" to conservative revenue estimates. Whatever the reason, given the general revenue course the company has taken since 2013, it's hard to argue.
Photo: TechCrunch on Flickr. Used under CC by 2.0 licence.