Salesforce.com subscriber count, revenue keep growing

Salesforce.com pushed its subscriber total to 351,000 in its most recent quarter, with revenue up 78 percent from the year-ago quarter.

Salesforce.com pushed its subscriber total to 351,000 in its most recent quarter, as the upstart hosted CRM (customer relationship management) software vendor turned in third-quarter financials showing a continuation of the company's rapid growth.

While announcing Salesforce.com's results, Chief Executive Officer Marc Benioff took a moment to dance on the grave of Siebel Systems. He listed "the capitulation of a long time rival" as one of the recent "seismic shifts" in the software industry, in prepared remarks accompanying Salesforce.com's results release. Siebel agreed in September to sell itself to Oracle Corp. for around US$5.85 billion, a deal expected to close next year.

While established enterprise software companies like Siebel have struggled for growth in recent years, fledgling Salesforce.com has thrived, primarily by selling into the untapped lower end of the CRM software market. Salesforce.com's revenue in the third quarter, ended Oct. 31, rose 78 percent from last year, to US$82.7 million.

Salesforce.com had net income of US$6.3 million and per-share earnings of US$0.05 on an adjusted basis that excludes a one-time tax benefit. (Including that benefit, the company's income for the quarter was US$13.1 million.) The consensus estimate of analysts polled by Thomson First Call was for per-share earnings of US$0.04 and revenue of US$80.4 million.

Salesforce.com nudged its financial forecast for the rest of the year upward, saying it now expects revenue of at least US$307 million for its 2006 fiscal year, which ends in January. Thomson First Call's estimate was for revenue of US$305.9 million.

Meanwhile, the company has appointed Steve Russell to head its Asia Pac hub in Singapore, and has also moved Doug Faber, formerly managing director of its Australian operations, to the Singapore office where he takes up the role of vice president of operations in Asia Pac.

In Australia, some of the company's customers include 3G provider 3, Pacific Publishing, Esker Software, Dimension Data and Hostworks.

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