Salesforce does better than expected

SalesforceSalesforce.com reported better than expected quarterly revenue and profit, helped by an increase in demand for its Web-based sales and marketing software.

The outfit raised its revenue forecast for the full year for the third time.

Shares rose about four percent in extended trading as the online sales software outfit predicted that current quarter revenue and adjusted profit above the average analyst estimates.

Chief Executive Marc Benioff said the company is now the sixth largest software company in the world to the fourth largest next year. This means that it will be behind Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP.

Salesforce raised its revenue forecast for the year ending January 2016 to $6.60 billion-$6.63 billion from $6.52 billion-$6.55 billion.

The company has been draining the life out of Oracle and SAP in customer relationship management software.

Salesforce revenue has been rising as businesses opt for cheaper and easier cloud software services, but higher spending, particularly on sales personnel, has hurt its bottom line.

The company’s net loss narrowed to $852,000 in the second quarter from $61.1 million a year earlier.

Revenue rose 24 percent to $1.63 billion, beating analysts’ average estimate of $1.60 billion.