Salesforce.com said Tuesday its profit more than doubled in the third quarter as sales rose by 20 percent.
Results met Wall Street expectations for profit, but the company reported a slight sequential decline in deferred revenue, spooking investors and sending shares lower in after-hours trading.
The San Francisco-based company makes software to help salespeople manage their customer relationships. It earned $20.7 million, or 16 cents per share, in the quarter that ended Oct. 31. That's up from the $10.1 million, or 8 cents per share, it earned a year earlier.
Revenue rose 20 percent to $330.5 million from $276.5 million.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected profit of 16 cents per share and revenue of $324 million.
Salesforce.com said it signed up a record new 4,700 new customers during the quarter, bringing its total customers to 67,900, or up 31 percent year-over-year.
The company also raised its estimate for full-year profit to 62 cents or 63 cents per share, from an August estimate of 60 cents or 61 cents per share. In the fourth quarter, it expects to earn 14 cents to 15 cents per share.
Analysts, on average, expect quarterly earnings of 15 cents per share and full-year profit of 62 cents per share.
But investors honed in on the company's statement that it had deferred revenue on its balance sheet _ representing subscription fees that will be booked as sales in the coming quarters of $545 million. That's up 16 percent year-over-year, but down slightly from the $549 million booked at the end of the second quarter.
Salesforce.com shares fell $2.96, or 4.5 percent, to $62.65 in after-hours trading Tuesday after closing at $65.61, down $1.24 from a day earlier.