Salesforce announces Keith Block’s departure as the co-CEO of the company

on Feb 27, 2020
Updated: Mar 11, 2020
  • Salesforce announces Keith Block’s departure as the co-CEO of the company.
  • Salesforce posts $4.85 billion in revenue in the fourth quarter versus $4.75 billion expected.
  • Salesforce makes 66 cents of earnings per share in the fourth quarter versus 56 cents expected.

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Salesforce revealed its fourth-quarter performance results on Tuesday that beat analysts’ estimates for earnings and revenue. The company also announced that Keith Block will be exiting his role as the co-CEO for the company leaving Marc Benioff as the sole in charge. In the recent quarter, Salesforce also appointed Bret Taylor as the new Chief Operating Officer.

Despite the optimism of the Q4 earnings report, the announcement of the management shift wasn’t well-received by the investors that resulted in an around 5% decline in share prices on Tuesday. At the time of writing, Salesforce is trading at $178 per share in the stock market that marks a 7% growth in 2020 so far. In 2019, the American cloud-based software company performed fairly well in the stock market with an annual gain of 20%.  

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Salesforce’s Fourth Quarter Performance Results Versus Analysts’ Estimates

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According to Refinitiv, analysts were expecting Salesforce to print $4.75 billion in revenue in the fourth quarter. On the earnings front, they had anticipated 56 cents per share in the recent quarter. In its financial results on Tuesday, the company highlighted to have generated a much higher $4.85 billion in revenue while a stronger 66 cents of earnings were reported per share in Q4. In the quarter that ended on 31st January 2019, Salesforce’s revenue growth was recorded at 35%.

In its guidance for the fiscal first quarter, Salesforce said it now expected to make 70 to 71 cents of earnings per share (adjusted) and generate between $4.875 billion to $4.885 billion in revenue. Analysts, on the other hand, have forecast 70 cents of earnings for the company in Q1 while their estimate for revenue is capped at $4.84 billion.

Salesforce’s Guidance For Fiscal 2021

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In fiscal 2021, Salesforce said it estimates $3.16 to $3.18 of earnings per share (adjusted) with its revenue lying in the range of $21.0 billion to $21.1 billion. Refinitiv’s estimate for 2021 is at $3.11 of earnings per share (adjusted) and $20.93 billion in revenue.

In separate news, Salesforce also highlighted a $1.33 billion investment into acquiring Vlocity. The deal with cloud and mobile software provider, according to CFO Mark Hawkins, has been accounted for in the company’s aforementioned guidance. The acquisition is expected to have a dilutive effect on Salesforce’s financial performance. Other than that, however, Hawkins commented that no other acquisitions can be foreseen in the short term.

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