THE SPARK: On Thursday the company, which provides software for sales staff over the Internet, reported quarterly adjusted earnings of 51 cents per share on revenue of $834.7 million. Analysts polled by FactSet expected 40 cents per share on revenue of $840.8 million.
THE ANALYSIS: Brendan Barnicle of Pacific Crest Securities said in a client note that salesforce.com posted a 28 percent increase in billings for the quarter, even though it faced a tough year-ago comparison. The company also managed to pull in 150 seven-figure deals during the period and nine eight-figure deals, he added.
Barnicle said that salesforce.com is starting to become the standard for the industry, which is helping it attract larger deals. The analyst kept an "Outperform" rating on the shares and lifted the price target to $210 from $200.
Cowen and Co.'s Peter Goldmacher said that Salesforce.com had a very strong quarter, but it would be unreasonable to expect billings and productivity results as strong in the first quarter, given the seasonality of the business.
The analyst kept an "Underperform" rating on salesforce.com.
SHARE ACTION: The San Francisco company's stock rose $13.08, or 7.7 percent, to $182.30 in afternoon trading. Earlier in the session it reached an all-time high of $183.24.