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Salesforce.com shares jump as it turns in a loss

'Ave that, Microsoft, Oracle

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Depite posting a loss for its second quarter, shares in Salesforce.com surged 19 per cent on Thursday, as the sales software firm beat Wall Street revenue estimates.

Salesforce.com lost $145,000 on a GAAP basis, compared to a profit of $5m for the same period a year earlier. The firm's P&L shows that the sales surge was outrun slightly by stock option expenses and other spending to fuel growth.

Revenue rose 64 per cent to $118m, topping analyst expectations of around $114m. Non-GAAP earnings per share were $0.06, two cents ahead of predictions.

Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff said: "While other software companies talk about an undefined on-demand future with undefined products that may or may not be available at some point in the future, Salesforce...is delivering the promise of on-demand services to nearly 25,000 customers with more than 500,000 subscribers around the world today."

The comment was presumably a dig at Microsoft's CRM software and Oracle's Siebel venture.

The firm netted 57,000 new subscibers to its services in the quarter, up 63 per cent on the Q2 2005 total. ®

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