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Salesforce turns in a robust second quarter

The company adds 3,900 net paying customers to hit a total of 63,200, and its financial targets were in line with estimates or better than expected.

This was originally published at ZDNet's Between the Lines.

Salesforce.com delivered strong second-quarter results and upped its financial targets for fiscal 2010.

The software company on Thursday reported net income for the fiscal quarter, which ended July 31, of $21.2 million, or 17 cents a share, on revenue of $316 million, up 20 percent from a year ago. Wall Street was expecting earnings of 15 cents a share on revenue of $312.7 million.

In a statement, Salesforce said that it added 3,900 net paying customers to hit a total of 63,200. Net paying customers are up 32 percent from a year ago.

In addition, Salesforce's financial targets were in line with estimates or better than expected. To wit:

• Salesforce is projecting third-quarter earnings to be 15 cents a share to 16 cents a share on revenue of $323 million to $324 million. Wall Street has been looking for earnings of 15 cents a share on revenue of $319 million.

• For the fiscal 2010, Salesforce sees revenue between $1.27 billion and $1.28 billion. Earnings will be 60 cents a share to 61 cents a share. Wall Street has been expecting earnings of 60 cents a share on revenue of $1.265 billion.

By the numbers:

• Deferred revenue in the second quarter was $549 million, up 14 percent from a year ago.

• The company had $1.03 billion in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities as of July 31.

• Salesforce ended the second quarter with 3,653 employees, up from 3,607 in the prior quarter.