Salesforce.com maintains profitability and growth

Salesforce.com on Thursday released its first quarterly results since going public, posting income of US$1.2 million on revenue of US$40.6 million for the three months ended July 31.

The San Francisco-based hosted CRM (customer relationship management) services vendor added 21,000 paying subscribers during the quarter, bringing its total to 168,000, from 11,100 companies. That growth prompted the company to slightly raise its revenue expectations for its 2005 fiscal year, which ends Jan. 31. Salesforce.com now anticipates revenue of US$165 million to US$170 million.

The second-quarter results edged past the US$39.7 million in revenue consensus estimate of analysts polled by Thomson First Call. Salesforce.com met per-share earnings expectations, with earnings of US$0.01.

The newly public company has an outsized impact on the CRM market: While its sales are small compared to those of market leaders like Siebel Systems Inc., Salesforce.com targets the rapidly growing market of small companies shopping for sales and customer support management software. Its growth, shadowed by that of rivals like NetSuite and Salesnet, has prompted nearly every vendor in the CRM market to reevaluate how it approaches small and mid-size businesses.

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