Salesforce.com shares drop on outlook

Shares fall more than $9, or 15 percent, by midday, as analyst expresses concerns about the software-as-a-service company's future revenue.

Margaret Kane Former Staff writer, CNET News
Margaret is a former news editor for CNET News, based in the Boston bureau.
Margaret Kane

Shares of software-as-a-service company Salesforce.com fell Thursday in morning trading after the company announced cautious guidance for the upcoming third quarter.

Shares were trading at $55.80 by midday, down from Wednesday's close of $65.30.

Looking ahead, the company said it expects revenue in the third quarter to be between $273 million and $274 million, slightly below analysts' expectations.

Thursday, Piper Jaffray downgraded the stock from "buy" to "neutral."

The stock slip came despite a strong second quarter. Salesforce announced revenue of $263.1 million for the second quarter ended July 31, up 49 percent year-over-year, and 6 percent from the most recent quarter. Revenue from subscriptions hit $239.7 million, up from $160 million in the year-ago quarter, while services revenue rose to $23.4 million from $16.6 million in the year-ago quarter.

Net income for the quarter was $10 million, or 8 cents per share, up from $3.7 million, or 3 cents per share, in the previous year.

On Wednesday, Salesforce announced it was acquiring InStranet, a Chicago-based maker of call-center software, for around $31.5 million. Salesforce plans to use InStranet's technology both internally, and as a new software-as-a-service offering expected to launch within 18 months.