Salesforce Falls on Corporate Cuts: San Francisco Mover

Salesforce.com Inc. (CRM), the biggest provider of online customer-management software, fell the most in almost six months after computer-networking leader Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) said corporate customers are reluctant to spend.

Salesforce dropped 9.1 percent to $135.44 at the close in New York, for the biggest decline since Nov. 18. The stock pared gains for the year to 33 percent.

Cisco Chief Executive Officer John Chambers yesterday said orders from big companies dropped in the third quarter, and it’s taking longer to sign large deals with corporate customers. Cisco is seen as a bellwether for the broader technology industry because most of its sales come from new business, making its results a reliable gauge of real-time spending trends. Networking products such as routers and switches must be upgraded frequently to handle increasing data traffic.

“Cisco’s comments on the enterprise scared people,” Peter Goldmacher, an analyst at Cowen & Co. in San Francisco, said in an e-mail. “Large enterprise deals are critical to Salesforce hitting numbers now.”

San Francisco-based Salesforce is scheduled to report fiscal first-quarter earnings May 17. Sales may rise 34 percent to $678.3 million, according to the average analyst estimate compiled by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporters on this story: Aaron Ricadela in San Francisco at aricadela@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net

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