Salesforces trailblazing results ease doubts on Wall Street

Salesforce.com Inc. posted its biggest gain in five months as the software company eased shareholder jitters after first-quarter results and a strong revenue outlook topped Wall Street projections.Several analysts reiterated buy-equivalent ratings on the stock with Credit Suisse’s Brad Zelnick calling the results a “trailblazing start” to fiscal 2020. Derrick Wood, an analyst at Cowen, recommended being “aggressive buyers of shares” since concerns about billings and business momentum have now been largely put to rest.The shares rose as much as 4.8 per cent Wednesday, their biggest gain since Jan. 4. Why tech giant Salesforce is cozying up to Canada Apple, Salesforce team up to boost number of mobile business apps Microsoft tops $1 trillion valuation for first time as it predicts more cloud growth Here’s what analysts are saying:• SunTrust Robinson, Terry Tillman: “Salesforce remains a top large-cap core tech holding in our opinion.”“We are encouraged by the company’s ability to maintain revenue guidance despite expecting more than US$200 million in FX headwinds for FY20.”• Wedbush, Steve Koenig: Salesforce.com’s first-quarter revenue beat by “an impressive” US$55 million despite increasing foreign currency headwinds. “Billings, unearned revenue and cash flow metrics were also well ahead of expectations.”“The only middling metrics were the new remaining performance obligation (RPO) and current RPO disclosures, which were only in line with guidance on a constant-currency basis.”Koenig said he’s “noticed increasingly negative sentiment” on Salesforce.com, but solid results for the first quarter “should set the stage for more positive price action from this SaaS bellwether as it beats and raises expectations throughout this year.”• Piper Jaffray, Alex Zukin: “Salesforce posted a strong quarter, with beats across major metrics including billings, revenue and (operating cash flow), while current RPO growth came in slightly below guidance due to FX headwinds.”“While we were surprised to see the weaker-than-expected RPO, we acknowledge the lack of historical data and newness of the metric, and would expect typical patterns of guided metric outperformance to resume going forward.”“We believe the stock remains attractive here given growth durability and favorable valuation.”• Cowen, Derrick Wood: “We would be more aggressive buyers of shares” with first-quarter concerns now largely put to rest.“Commentary around the demand (environment) and benefits from recent internal changes were encouraging.”“Investors should be reminded of the stability and durability” of Salesforce.com’s business model given the solid quarterly performance amid some internal changes.• Credit Suisse, Brad Zelnick: “First-quarter results were a “trailblazing start” to fiscal year 2020. “The outperformance was broad-based with notable strength in MuleSoft helping drive +24 per cent y/y constant currency, current RPO growth and 22 per cent organic constant currency billings growth.”“We continue to appreciate CRM’s positioning among various enterprise IT spending drivers.”• Bloomberg Intelligence: Anurag Rana, a senior technology analyst: “Salesforce.com’s 1Q results reiterate the company’s sound execution in the strong IT-spending environment. With 22 per cent / growth in its remaining performance obligations, or sales under contract, this stability should persist.” read more

Affordable housing key for development and social equality UN says on World

With 1.6 billion people living in inadequate housing, one billion of whom reside in slums and informal settlements, the United Nations is spotlighting affordable homes on today’s World Habitat Day, which also marks the official start of Urban October – a month of worldwide celebrations and citizens’ engagement in urban life worldwide. “While millions of people lack suitable homes, the stock of vacant houses is gradually increasing,” said Dr. Joan Clos Executive Director of the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) in a message commemorating the Day under the 2017 theme ‘Housing Policies: Affordable Homes.’ “Ensuring housing affordability is therefore a complex issue of strategic importance for development, social peace and equality,” he added. This year’s celebrations are noteworthy as they coincide with the first anniversary of the New Urban Agenda,” adopted at the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, better known as Habitat III, in Quito, Ecuador, which enshrines urbanization as an indispensable for development and a prerequisite for prosperity and growth. “It is thanks to this paradigm shift that urbanization and development are indivisibly linked one to another,” Dr. Clos said. ‘Handing over housing to the market has proved a failure’ An analysis of housing affordability over the last 20 years reveals that despite increasing demand, housing – including rentals – has been largely unaffordable for the majority of the world population. “Handing over housing to the market has proved a failure in providing affordable and adequate housing for all,” Dr. Clos continued. “We all remember well that housing was at the epicentre of the eruption of the global economic crisis of 2008, instead of being at the heart of the urban policy. Today, 1.6 billion people live in inadequate housing, of which one billion live in slums and informal settlements,” he underscored. Dr. Clos emphasized that addressing the housing needs of the poorest and most vulnerable, especially women, youth and those who live in slums, must be a priority in the development agendas. Promoting sound housing policies is also crucial for climate change, resilience, mobility and energy consumption. Which is why, the Executive Director said: “we would like to remind on this Day the importance of locating housing at the physical – and holistic – centre of our cities. “For housing to contribute to national socio-economic development and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the New Urban Agenda calls for placing housing policies at the centre of national urban policies along with strategies to fight poverty, improve health and employment,” he stressed. Each year, World Habitat Day takes on a new theme to promote sustainable development policies to ensure shelter for all – often promoting one of UN-Habitat’s focal areas such as inclusive housing and social services; a safe and healthy living environment, with consideration for children, youth, women, elderly and disabled; affordable and sustainable transport and energy; and job creation. “As we strive to create cities for all, an urgent action for achieving affordable homes requires a global commitment to effective and inclusive housing policies,” Dr. Clos concluded. read more