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Salesforce Inc. (NYSE) reported fiscal second-quarter results that fell short of analyst expectations, casting doubt on the software giant's ability to capitali

Salesforce Shares Plummet Amid Disappointing Q2 Guidance and AI Strategy Concerns

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Salesforce Inc. (NYSE) reported fiscal second-quarter results that fell short of analyst expectations, casting doubt on the software giant's ability to capitalize on the artificial intelligence revolution as quickly as anticipated. Following the report, Salesforce shares dropped more than 17% in after-hours trading.

Q2 Earnings Overview

Salesforce reported adjusted EPS of $2.44 on revenue of $9.13 billion, which slightly beat analysts' expectations of $2.37 EPS but missed the revenue projection of $9.15 billion. Despite this, the company's guidance for the current quarter disappointed investors:

  • Adjusted EPS Guidance: Expected to be in the range of $2.44 to $2.36, below Wall Street's estimate of $2.40.
  • Revenue Guidance: Projected between $9.20 billion and $9.25 billion, missing the consensus estimate of $9.34 billion.

Impact on AI Strategy Optimism

The weaker-than-expected guidance has dampened optimism surrounding Salesforce's AI strategy, particularly the Salesforce AI Cloud, which aims to integrate generative AI capabilities into its platform for business users. The anticipation of AI-driven growth has been a key driver of investor sentiment, and the latest guidance suggests a slower-than-hoped realization of these benefits.

Detailed Financial Performance

  • Subscription and Support Revenues: $8.59 billion, marking a 12% year-over-year increase.
  • Professional Services and Other Revenues: $548 million, down from $605 million year-over-year.

Fiscal Year 2025 Outlook

Looking ahead, Salesforce maintained its revenue guidance for fiscal-year 2025 in the range of $37.7 billion to $38.0 billion. Adjusted earnings are projected to be between $9.86 and $9.94 per share. However, the company has revised its annual operating margin guidance down to 19.9%, signaling potential challenges in managing costs and profitability.

Key Takeaways for Investors

  1. Short-term Market Reaction: The immediate 17% drop in share price reflects investor concerns about the company's near-term growth prospects and the slower-than-expected impact of its AI initiatives.
  2. Long-term Strategy: Salesforce's commitment to AI and maintaining robust revenue growth indicates potential for long-term value, despite current setbacks.
  3. Financial Stability: While facing short-term guidance issues, Salesforce's maintained revenue and earnings projections for FY 2025 suggest underlying business resilience.

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Investors should closely monitor how Salesforce navigates these challenges and adjusts its strategies to harness the power of AI, ensuring sustainable growth and profitability in the coming quarters.

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