shares jump after Q3 report

Cloud computing vendor's results top estimates, issues optimistic outlook for Q4, next year

Enterprise cloud computing vendor on Thursday reported fiscal third quarter net income and revenue that exceeded analysts' estimates, sending shares higher in after-hours trading.

The San Francisco-based company recorded Q3 earnings of $21 million, or 15 cents a share, about equal to the $20.7 million, or 16 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenue of $429 million and non-adjusted profits of 32 cents a share topped consensus estimates of $410.5 million and 31 cents, respectively. Shares of (NYSE: CRM) surged 9.43, or more than 8 percent, to 125.20 in after-hours trading. And that's after climbing 5.62, or 5.1 percent, to 115.77 during Thursday's regular session. In a statement, Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff said, “After taking a decade to achieve our first billion dollar year in fiscal 2009, we believe that our strong growth this year will allow us to deliver approximately $2 billion in revenue in fiscal 2012, making the first cloud computing company to achieve that milestone.” The company forecasts Q4 revenue of $447 million to $449 million, well above estimates of $425 million. For fiscal year 2011, estimates revenue of nearly $1.65 billion, versus estimates of $1.61 billion.

Chris Nerney writes about the business side of technology market strategies and trends, legal issues, leadership changes, mergers, venture capital, IPOs and technology stocks. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisNerney.

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