Showing posts with label CRM. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CRM. Show all posts

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Oracle: Excelling in Financial Engineering.

Oracle (ORCL) faced its first real challenge to its business model from Amazon AWS (AMZN). For a long time, Oracle's relational database has been the standard for many companies in the Global 2000. Oracle's database is still so entrenched in many corporations across the globe that they pay millions of dollars in Oracle license and support fees each year to keep the right to use their software. But, companies formed in the last 10-15 years have shunned the Oracle database. Instead, they have relied on myriad open-source database options and cheaper databases from other companies. The advent of AWS made it easy for any company to manage databases in the cloud. 

Oracle has lagged behind the prominent three cloud vendors in offering infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). The company has a reasonably significant market share position in SaaS software, where it competes against the likes of Salesforce (CRM), Workday (WDAY), and SAP (SAP). But, Oracle is still heavily dependent on revenue from its database software. Since Oracle cannot attract new customers to its database, it has resorted to using its existing database install base as an annuity business. In essence, the Oracle database software generates much rental income from its remaining customers.  

In the face of Oracle management's inability to innovate and compete, they have resorted to financial engineering to prop up their share price. A company innovating and competing well in the marketplace is most likely growing revenues. At the very least, revenue growth needs to keep up with GDP growth. Unfortunately, there is no revenue growth at Oracle. In the fiscal year ending May 31, 2011, Oracle had total sales of $35.622 billion. In the fiscal year ending May 31, 2021, Oracle had total sales of $40.479 billion. That equates to a 13.6% growth in revenue over 11 years. The 13.6% rate amounts to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.16%

Exhibit: Oracle Annual Sales Revenue from Fiscal Year Ending on May 31, 2011

(Source: SEC.GOV)

How does a company show earnings per share (EPS) growth when revenue growth is nonexistent? Investors react positively to a growing EPS number. One way to show an ever-increasing EPS number is to repurchase the company shares and retire them. The repurchase transaction reduces the outstanding shares, and thus when stagnant net income is divided by outstanding shares, the resulting EPS number looks as if it is growing. 

The company has spent billions of dollars each year repurchasing its stock. The company has spent $137.65 billion in repurchasing its shares in 11 years. Initially, the share repurchases did not do much to the stock price. So, in recent years, the company has gotten even more brazen in buying back its stocks (See Exhibit: Annual Amount in Billions Spent by Oracle on Share Repurchase).  

Exhibit: Annual Amount in Billions Spent by Oracle on Share Repurchase 

(Source: SEC.GOV)
One way to analyze how much the company has spent on its repurchase is to compare its operating cash flow to the repurchase amount. The company had $155.212 billion in operating cash flow in 11 years and it spend 88.6% of that in buying back its own shares.
Exhibit: Oracle's Annual Operating Cash Flow

(Source: SEC.GOV)
In the end, Oracle's management led by Safra and the company's largest shareholder - Larry Ellison - benefit the most from these buybacks. Larry is now on the list of the top-10 wealthiest people in the world solely due to these buybacks. Due to these buybacks, the stock has risen a lot, and ordinary investors should prudently book profits. You do not want to be in this stock when the music stops.  




Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Can Salesforce (CRM) continue growing to justify its valuation?

Salesforce (CRM) grew at a breakneck speed over the past two decades. The is hoping that the growth will continue in this decade.

The company's free cash flow yield is very similar to that of Microsoft (MSFT) and Adobe (ADBE). Salesforce's free cash flow yield has been consistently around the 2% level over the past decade. Microsoft and Adobe have seen their market capitalization and earnings multiple expand over the years causing their free cash flow yield to drop. I might have to look into their number more closely. 

Exhibit: Free Cash Flow Yield
(Source: Seeking Alpha)

Salesforce is lagging behind Microsoft (MSFT) and Adobe (ADBE) on return on equity. Both those companies have more than 8x more return on equity than Salesforce.  

  Exhibit: Return on Equity

(Source: Seeking Alpha)

Microsoft and Adobe have 6x and 8x more return on invested capital (ROIC) compared to Salesforce. 

Exhibit: Return on Invested Capital 

(Source: Seeking Alpha)

Salesforce's EBITDA margin is much lower than that of Microsoft and Adobe.  

Exhibit: EBITDA Margin
(Source: Seeking Alpha)

Salesforce's EV to EBITDA multiple is higher than that of Microsoft and Adobe.  

                               Exhibit: EV to EBITDA Multiple for Salesforce, Microsoft, and Adobe.  

   (Source: Seeking Alpha)                                         

Salesforce's year-over-year quarterly revenue growth (See Exhibit: Year-over-Year Revenue Growth) has converged with Microsoft and Adobe.  

    Exhibit: Year-over-Year Revenue Growth

(Source: Seeking Alpha)

Salesforce's price to earnings growth ratio (See Exhibit: Salesforce, Microsoft, and Adobe PEG Ratio) was attractive during the past decade compared to Microsoft and Adobe. If the company's growth can continue, that would justify its higher valuation multiple compared to Microsoft and Adobe. Salesforce's revenue is already in the high $20 billion, so for it to grow at a 20% rate would take some work.  

                                        Exhibit: Salesforce, Microsoft, and Adobe PEG Ratio

(Source: Seeking Alpha)

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Salesforce Q2 FY 2022 Earnings Call Highlights

  • Salesforce (NYSE: CRM)
  • Slack acquisition has been closed.  
  • The company's first $6 billion in revenue in a single quarter.
  • 23% year-over-year (y-o-y) revenue growth with a total of $6.34 billion in revenue for the quarter.
  • Operating margin of 20.4%. It's an improvement of 20 basis points year-over-year.   
  • "I'm very excited that 5 out of the last 5 quarters that we've had that 20% or greater revenue growth. And that 3 of the last 5 quarters, we're having greater than 20% operating margin." - Marc Benioff, CEO.  
  • Sales Cloud grew at 15% y-o-y.  
  • Service Cloud is now a $6 billion business.
  • Service Cloud grew at 23% y-o-y.
  • Marketing & Commerce Cloud grew at 28% y-o-y.  
  • "And every one of these digital transformations is also a data transformation, which is driving the unprecedented success we're seeing in Tableau and MuleSoft. Tableau is within 9 of our top 10 deals this quarter, and MuleSoft is within 8 of our top 10 deals." - Bret Taylor, COO, Salesforce.  
  • Industry Cloud grew at 58% y-o-y.  
  • Salesforce is aggressively launching a "Slack-first" customer 360 project. All Salesforce products will be integrated with Slack.  
  • Slack's revenue grew by 39% y-o-y.    

(Source: Salesforce)

Exhibit: Marc Benioff - CEO Salesforce.  
(Source: Salesforce)

Published: August 26, 2021.


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