Salesforce Stock Hits Record High After Earnings, Forecast

Salesforce has been running up the charts over the last 12 months

May 30, 2018 at 10:19 AM
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Shares of Salesforce.com, Inc. (NYSE:CRM) are up 2% to trade at $129.47 -- fresh off a record high of $132.55 -- after the cloud concern reported first-quarter adjusted earnings of 74 cents per share on $3.01 billion in revenue, beating the consensus per-shares earnings estimate of 46 cents on $2.94 billion in revenue. The tech firm also raised its full-year forecast, citing surging cloud-based sales and demand for its marketing software.

A round of upbeat analyst notes is only adding to the bullish buzz. Among them are a price-target hikes to $155 at both Jefferies and Credit Suisse -- a 22% premium to last night's close. Elsewhere, Canaccord Genuity said the company's "management team is always bullish," and it hopes to "get a chance to buy CRM on a dip. BUY." The brokerage firm also boosted its price target to $150 from $135.

Today's positive price action is nothing new for Salesforce stock. The shares have bounded to a nearly 43% year-over-year gain, thanks to several sharp bounces off its rising 80-day moving average. What's more, the stock is pacing toward an 8% May return, which would mark its fifth straight monthly gain.

This morning's positive earnings reaction has sparked accelerated activity in CRM's options pits, too. Most recently, 32,000 calls and 13,000 puts have changed hands -- eight times what's typically seen at this point in the day, and total volume pacing in the 100th annual percentile.

While speculators appear to be liquidating their June 130 calls, skeptics -- or shareholders seeking portfolio protection -- could be buying to open new positions at the weekly 6/1 130-strike put for a volume-weighted average price of $0.95. If this is the case, breakeven for the put buyers at this Friday's close is $129.05 (strike less premium paid).

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