Salesforce: Deferred Revenue Debacle; Bookings in Danger?

Following a beat-and-raise quarter last night for online software vendor Salesforce’s (CRM), the rewards are not what you might expect, with the shares down $11.60, or 17.8 percent, at $53.73. The company’s forecast for a profit of 34 cents to 35 cents for the current quarter, excluding its cost to acquire privately held Instranet, was unimpressive to the Street. But the main worry is that the company’s deferred revenue balance–meaning sales for which it has received payments that have not been recorded as revenue on the income statement–at the end of last quarter signals that new business signings may be slipping.

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