Earnings Results: Salesforce confirms $27.7 billion deal to buy Slack, while results top Street estimates

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The Salesforce logo is displayed on a podium during the Dreamforce 2012 conference in San Francisco.

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Salesforce.com Inc. shares declined in the extended session Tuesday after the cloud-based customer relationship-management company confirmed it would acquire Slack Technologies Inc. in a deal worth $27.7 billion and topped Wall Street estimates for the quarter.

Salesforce CRM, -1.81% shares declined 4% after hours, following a 1.8% decline in the regular session to close at $241.35.

The company confirmed it would buy Slack WORK, +2.23%, with Slack shareholders receiving $26.79 in cash and 0.0776 shares of Salesforce common stock for each Slack share, or for a combined $45.86 a share. Slack shares fluctuated between slight gains and losses after hours, following a 2.2% rise in the regular session to close at $43.84. Slack’s stock is up 95% for the year, and up 44% since last Tuesday, when reports of the deal surfaced.

Salesforce’s acquisition of the business-communications company, which went public in June 2019, is seen as a “major shot across the bow” at Microsoft Corp. MSFT, +1.00%, which has its competing Teams direct messaging service and already competes with Salesforce with its Dynamics 365 CRM service.

Salesforce said it would fund the cash portion of the deal with a combination of new debt and cash on hand, noting it received a commitment from Citigroup, Bank of America, and J.P. Morgan Chase for a 364-day $10 billion bridge loan.

Salesforce said it expects the acquisition to close in its fiscal second quarter, which ends in July 2021.

Salesforce also reported third-quarter net income of $1.08 billion, or $1.15 a share, versus a loss of $109 million, or 12 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings were $1.74 a share, compared with 75 cents a share in the year-ago period. Revenue rose to $5.42 billion from $4.51 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet estimated earnings of 75 cents a share on revenue of $5.23 billion, based on Salesforce’s forecast of 73 cents to 74 cents a share on revenue of $5.24 billion to $5.25 billion back in August.

“We had another record quarter, and now we’re raising our FY21 revenue guidance to $21.11 billion at the high end and initiating FY22 guidance of $25.5 billion,” said Marc Benioff, Salesforce chairman and co-CEO, in a statement.

Salesforce expects adjusted fourth-quarter earnings of 73 cents to 74 cents a share on revenue of $5.67 billion to $5.68 billion, while analysts had forecast 86 cents a share on revenue of $5.51 billion. For fiscal 2022, Salesforce expects revenue of $5.68 billion to $5.72 billion for the first quarter, and $25.45 billion to $25.55 billion for the year. Analysts expect revenue of $5.66 billion for the first quarter and $24.47 billion for the year.

Back in August, Salesforce’s second-quarter earnings and outlook triggered its biggest one-day stock gain ever with a 26% rally as quarterly revenue hurdled the $5 billion mark for the first time.

Additionally, Salesforce announced that Chief Financial Officer Mark Hawkins would retire on Feb 1.

At Tuesday’s close, Salesforce’s stock was up 48% for the year, while the First Trust Cloud Computing ETF SKYY, -0.51% is up 48%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.62% is up 4.5%, the S&P 500 index SPX, +1.12% is up 13%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +1.28% is up 38%.