Salesforce Seeing Some Vindication

 | Jan 21, 2014 | 6:19 PM EST  | Comments
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Stock quotes in this article:

crm

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ibm

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sap

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msft

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wday

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FB

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twtr

Is Salesforce.com (CRM) going up because it's looking more and more like the so-called cloud companies aren't cloud at all or can't compete as they would like? SAP (SAP) talked about pushing back its profitability targets because of its cloud push, and whatever IBM (IBM) is doing with the cloud, it sure isn't helping profit margins.

It does seem, as Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff has been saying for years and years, that if you aren't cloud-based, the cloud will ruin you margins, and most don't want their margins ruined.

Salesforce.com right now feels like the Microsoft (MSFT) platform that destroyed the old hardware model by helping personal computers be as powerful as the old mainframes. The mainframe companies just couldn't compete.

Frankly, I don't know how else to explain this miracle run from Salesforce.com, other than pure multiple expansion, which isn't my favorite way for a stock to go higher, because of a long-term belief that, in the end, that's just about the greater-fool theory.

I am a huge believer in Benioff -- one of my Bankable 21 and a big driver of my long-term belief in companies that embrace the cloud, mobile and social -- and this outperformance is a testament that, as last, after a prolonged period of lethargy, the stock has got real legs, as do Workday (WDAY), Yelp (YELP), Facebook (FB) and, yes, Twitter (TWTR).

This fall, when we went out to Dreamforce, the skepticism was impossibly thick about the platform that Benioff has developed.

The skepticism is thinning, and the stock is showing what happens now when it does.

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