Zacks Investment Research Lowers Salesforce.com Inc (NYSE:CRM) to Hold

Salesforce.com Inc (NYSE:CRM) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Friday, August 25th.

According to Zacks, “Salesforce reported strong Q2 results. The company also provided a strong outlook. We are also encouraged by the company’s announcement of achieving $10 billion in sales in FY18. The company’s diverse cloud offerings and strong spending on digital marketing remain the catalysts. Additionally, strategic acquisitions and the resultant synergies are anticipated to prove conducive to growth over the long run. Furthermore, the company’s last year move of utilizing Amazon data center’s geographical reach to expand its international business is commendable and will help it in achieving its targeted $20 billion sales mark in next few years as well. The company won several deals in Q2 due to its international expansion initiatives. The stock has outperformed the industry in the YTD period. Nonetheless, currency fluctuations and stepped-up investments could impact near-term results.”

A number of other research analysts have also recently weighed in on CRM. Vetr cut shares of Salesforce.com from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $93.21 price objective on the stock. in a research report on Tuesday, August 15th. Northland Securities set a $105.00 price objective on shares of Salesforce.com and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, June 24th. MKM Partners reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $104.00 price objective on shares of Salesforce.com in a research report on Thursday, August 24th. Rosenblatt Securities restated a “buy” rating and issued a $115.00 price target on shares of Salesforce.com in a report on Wednesday, August 23rd. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC set a $84.00 price target on shares of Salesforce.com and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 23rd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and forty-seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Salesforce.com currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $102.28.

Salesforce.com (NYSE CRM) traded up 1.27% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $97.65. 800,298 shares of the company were exchanged. Salesforce.com has a 12-month low of $66.43 and a 12-month high of $98.10. The company’s 50-day moving average is $92.11 and its 200 day moving average is $87.61. The company’s market capitalization is $70.18 billion.

Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 22nd. The CRM provider reported $0.33 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.09 by $0.24. Salesforce.com had a negative net margin of 0.85% and a positive return on equity of 1.83%. The business had revenue of $2.56 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.52 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.24 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 25.7% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that Salesforce.com will post $1.32 EPS for the current year.

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In other news, insider Parker Harris sold 8,027 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $96.01, for a total transaction of $770,672.27. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 51,572 shares in the company, valued at $4,951,427.72. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO Marc Benioff sold 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $86.00, for a total value of $860,000.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 34,195,300 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,940,795,800. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 692,105 shares of company stock valued at $62,193,091. 6.70% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. grew its holdings in Salesforce.com by 0.6% during the second quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. now owns 3,163 shares of the CRM provider’s stock worth $274,000 after acquiring an additional 18 shares during the period. First Personal Financial Services grew its holdings in Salesforce.com by 1.6% during the second quarter. First Personal Financial Services now owns 1,636 shares of the CRM provider’s stock worth $142,000 after acquiring an additional 25 shares during the period. Appropriate Balance Financial Services Inc. grew its holdings in Salesforce.com by 6.9% during the second quarter. Appropriate Balance Financial Services Inc. now owns 513 shares of the CRM provider’s stock worth $5,928,000 after acquiring an additional 33 shares during the period. Intrust Bank NA grew its holdings in Salesforce.com by 0.4% during the first quarter. Intrust Bank NA now owns 8,862 shares of the CRM provider’s stock worth $731,000 after acquiring an additional 36 shares during the period. Finally, Boston Private Wealth LLC grew its holdings in Salesforce.com by 0.3% during the second quarter. Boston Private Wealth LLC now owns 12,607 shares of the CRM provider’s stock worth $1,092,000 after acquiring an additional 38 shares during the period. 86.98% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Salesforce.com

Salesforce.com, inc. is a provider of enterprise software, delivered through the cloud, with a focus on customer relationship management (CRM). The Company focuses on cloud, mobile, social, Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence technologies. The Company’s service offerings are configured and integrated with other platforms and enterprise applications.

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