Thursday, August 21

Salesforce.com offers disappointing outlook

Shareholders reacted negatively today to news from Salesforce.com, Inc.'s disappointing outlook. Shares were down more than $10 at $55.15 (about 16%) in early trading on worries about the software-as-a-service company's future sales growth amid macro economic concerns.

A lot of nonprofits use Salesforce.com - so, here's the part that should serve as a warning to fundraisers:

Analyst Charles Di Bona of Bernstein Research said the shaky economic environment may be hurting Salesforce.com's business as some of its key customers, small and medium-sized companies, reel from the slowdown.

"We are concerned that SMBs, which make up 2/3 of Salesforce's customer base, may suffer more markedly than their larger counterparts amid any ongoing economic weakness, and that this may in turn impact Salesforce's bookings, new and renewal, and ultimately Salesforce's top line," Di Bona wrote. "Indeed, Salesforce appears to have had some softness in its deferred revenues and bookings in the quarter, perhaps giving fuel to this concern."
This is what I would call a leading economic indicator. That's right folks... we've been saying it at Don't Tell the Donor since late 2007. Smaller and medium sized nonprofits are going to feel this pain a lot sooner than the big dogs.

Oh yeah, and by the way... Goldman Sachs said today that half of the world's economies are in or will be in a recession within the next year. So much for our "second half recovery," huh?

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