Salesforce.com Reports 'Blowout Quarter'



Salesforce.com Inc. continues to move in a more positive direction than its chief rival, Siebel Systems Inc. The provider of on-demand, Web-based customer-relationship-management software posted first-quarter growth last week that was in stark contrast to Siebel's decline last month.

Salesforce added 40,000 subscribers during the past three months, "eight times more than our largest competitor, and in fact more than that competitor has added in its entire tenure in the on-demand market," CEO Marc Benioff crowed in a conference call. As of last month, Siebel said it had about 33,000 subscribers.

Salesforce has posted strong growth in the past four quarterly earnings reports. For its first quarter, ended April 30, the company showed a profit of $4.4 million on revenue of $64.2 million, compared with a profit of $437,000 on revenue of $34.8 million for the same period last year. (Siebel had almost five times that revenue--$299 million--in its last quarter.)

Salesforce's total number of subscribers is now 267,000, up 18% from the previous quarter and 82% from a year earlier. "Ninety days ago,

I couldn't have predicted 40,000 new subscribers for us," Benioff said. "This was a blowout quarter."

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