Salesforce posts upbeat results on hybrid work boost

FILE PHOTO: The Salesforce logo is pictured on a building in San Francisco, California, U.S. October 12, 2016. REUTERS/Lily Jamali

(Reuters) Inc on Tuesday reported quarterly revenue and profit above Wall Street estimates, as a pandemic-led shift to hybrid work kept up the strong demand for its cloud-based software, sending its shares up 4% in extended trading.

Companies like Salesforce reaped the benefits of the pandemic, with organizations doubling down on their effort for digitization and switch to remote working and learning. The fresh restrictions from the spread of the Omicron variant also added a boost.

San Francisco, California-based Salesforce's subscription and support revenue for the fourth quarter rose 24.7% to $6.83 billion.

Along with demand for its platforms like Customer 360, the recent addition of Slack's workplace app also helped the cloud-based software maker in adding users.

"Slack continues to exceed our expectations that I think is benefiting not only from the trend towards this new way of working ... It's also benefiting being a part of our Customer 360 portfolio," Bret Taylor, Salesforce co-chief executive officer, said on a call.

Rival Microsoft Corp in January also reported 26% growth in second-quarter revenue for its biggest segment, which offers cloud services and includes its flagship cloud offering, Azure.

For 2023, Salesforce expects revenue of $32 billion to $32.1 billion, above expectation of $31.78 billion.

The company's revenue rose 26% to $7.33 billion in the quarter, beating analysts' estimate of $7.24 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

On an adjusted basis, Salesforce earned 84 cents per share, topping estimates of 74 cents. However, its current-quarter and full-year adjusted earnings guidance came below expectations.

The company also forecast first-quarter revenue to be between $7.37 billion and $7.38 billion. Analysts on average expect it to be $7.26 billion.

(Reporting by Tiyashi Datta and Arunima Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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