Round One: Name this company in 5 financial stats Jason 20 Jan 2006

54 comments Latest by pwb

Which company is this:

767 employees, P/E of 182, operating margin 6.5%, market cap $4.4B, short shares % of float: 12%.

54 comments so far (Jump to latest)

Tim 20 Jan 06

JF 20 Jan 06

Bam! Tim must have some fancy software.

dmr 20 Jan 06

google “767 employees” told ya that. Fancy stuff!

Tim 20 Jan 06

Just know how to get what I need and fast!

Tim 20 Jan 06

Dang.. DMR you are letting out all the secrets :)

MMI 20 Jan 06

Hrm… Could this be a lead up to a new product release from the signals?

JF 20 Jan 06

Ok, going to be less specific next time ;)

Tim 20 Jan 06

Jason’s just sizing up the competition ;-)

dmr 20 Jan 06

What the heck does “short shares % of float” mean? Can somebody explain?

JF 20 Jan 06

dmr, that means that 12% of the people who own public shares are betting the stock is going to go down. They’re selling it short, instead of buying it long.

Anonymous Coward 20 Jan 06

Having a P/E of 182 is NOT good. Most technology companies are around 10-20 (except google which sitting around 70). To mean, a P/E of 182 is grossly over valued.

AaronS 20 Jan 06

10-20 PE ratio is probably a little low for “most technology companies” (although I agree 182 is quite high). Here are some more examples of P/E ratios:

Apple - 49.98
Google - 90.35
Dell - 23.29
Microsoft - 22.47
Pixar - 40.71
Sony - 38.21
Oracle - 22.27
Amazon - 36.91
Yahoo - 31.69

MSF 20 Jan 06

My guess is that isn’t the real competition to the CRM-ish thing on the way from 37s, but rather the mindshare (ugh) that can command.

Their true competition might be something like Excel and Post-It notes.

Or this post is really more about comparing the way of building a company vs. the 37s way.

AaronS 20 Jan 06

It’s also interesting to see that Mark Benioff (the companies CEO) has sold about 70,000 shares over the past two weeks (somewhere around $3 Million).

Looking back even farther, this guy has been selling off some of his holdings in the company almost every business day since Feb. ‘05…

Edgardo 20 Jan 06

Hey Jason,

If this is Round One… How many more rounds till you launch the CRM app? I hope the fight doesn’t go 12, I need the app fast, a KO!

pwb 20 Jan 06 looks pretty cool.

Ethan 20 Jan 06 but sunrise is going to kick much more ass

Ethan 20 Jan 06 but sunrise is going to be much better

DaleV 20 Jan 06

If it’s built for the sales-types I know, one button will be too many for them to grasp. The company sales staff where I used to work barely kept track of ANYTHING … much less account information.

Carlos 20 Jan 06

Good point Ethan! Feels like a tease for Sunrise.

Which company is this:

7 employees, private company, operating margin huge%, market cap of much Internet love, short shares % of float: 0%.

JF 20 Jan 06

To clear the air, this post has nothing to do with Sunrise. My apologies to the conspiracy theorists.

ben 20 Jan 06

I just checked out’s demo and within 5 minutes (while still watching the demo), one of their sales reps called (not a surprise). Then, within another 5 minutes someone from called and offered web design and hosting services. I never get spam on this (Vonage) line. Thanks for selling my phone number,!!!!

pwb 20 Jan 06

CEOs would be morons if they didn’t diversify their assets. Beniof, like all other Sr. Executives are on programmed sales specifically so that they do not “time” the market.

So, no, it’s not interesting in the least.

MT Heart 20 Jan 06

Price/Earnings ratios are generally misunderstood, mostly misused and largely irrelevant. They are the result of performance, not a cause of it. A far better indicator of performance is the stocks relative strength compared to other companies in its group.

JF 20 Jan 06

Yes, I agree RS is more important than P/E, but P/E is easier to find than RS which is why I used it.

ed fladung 20 Jan 06

I echo Eduardo’s concerns. I need this app yesterday. now that the 60 year old ladies on my sales staff have gotten used to using Basecamp, I need something else to keep their minds limber and white russians are only a stop-gap measure.

Robert G. 20 Jan 06

I’m surprised only 12% of the shares are being shorted. If you read the Yahoo boards it seems like 90% of the posts are bashes against the company.

It is so frustrating to have so many people “hate’n” on my stock. :-(

Stephen McKenna 20 Jan 06

If a P/E ratio of 182 doesn’t phase you, a PEG ratio of 3.85 should scare the crap out of you.

Joshua Herzig-Marx 20 Jan 06

I meant MSF - apologies.

Shea G 20 Jan 06

AaronS, it’s also interesting to note that Benioff has pulled a $1 salary since the company’s inception. Recent announcements about disclosing all exec. compensation should show that he’s done quite well for himself …

Chris 20 Jan 06

I wouldn’t base anything on the Yahoo boards. They are full of racists, bigots and non-specific morons.

Michael Doan 20 Jan 06

Shea G., executive compensation for publically traded companies are disclosed in a company’s Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ( It’s Item 11 in the filing and it’s always a fun read. This requirement has been in the Form 10-K for awhile now.

Michael 20 Jan 06

And the hype continues….

When will we see this CRM’ish application? Perhaps then the hype will stop…

shotoshi 20 Jan 06 ?

JF 20 Jan 06

Michael, I’m not sure what hype you’re talking about. There’s no mention of our product anywhere in this post. Quit reading between the lines when there aren’t any.

Clint Pidlubny 20 Jan 06

It will be interesting to see the power of this new app. Will it be a market mover? CRM (Salesforce) is trading at $39.93…

Don Wilson 20 Jan 06

Jason, you’ve recently told us that your company is going to release a CRM webapp, and now you’re providing financial information of a competeing CRM company. In lieu to Michael’s post, how could you not come to his conclusion?

pwb 20 Jan 06 is better, cheaper (as low as free), more flexible and customizable.

Rabbit 20 Jan 06

Sugar CRM is a joke. At my last job we tossed around the idea of using it, but eventually tossed the idea out.

If by customizable you mean waaay too complicated then yes, it was definitely customizable.

High hopes for Sunrise! My current employer desperately needs something. (Can you say 1,000 post-its?)

JF 20 Jan 06

Jason, you�ve recently told us that your company is going to release a CRM webapp, and now you�re providing financial information of a competeing CRM company. In lieu to Michael�s post, how could you not come to his conclusion?

If I wanted to talk about Sunrise, I’d talk about Sunrise. I have no reason to be obscure like this.

Steve 20 Jan 06

Well that begs the question…what *was* the point of this post then?

JF 20 Jan 06

The point of the post was the title of the post. Nothing less, nothing more.

jeff 20 Jan 06

Jason, I’m with Don (which, considering some of the things he’s written, kinda scares me) but putting two and two together to make four is natural and logical. That you claim you have no need for obscurity, none of us believe you. No offense. But until you give us more information about Sunrise, we’re going to assume that *anything* you say about CRM is related to Sunrise. I’d even presume that a post about Carrots, Rutabega, and Mushroom soup is about Sunrise.

Take it as a compliment. People are (obviously) anxious. You’ve done good work and people are hungry for just about anything else you can produce. So forgive them the sin of anticipation. But don’t criticise them for their good will.

Don Wilson 20 Jan 06

“If I wanted to talk about Sunrise, I�d talk about Sunrise. I have no reason to be obscure like this.”

I know you would, but I’m just pointing out how someone could come to the same conclusion as Michael did.

Ian Waring 21 Jan 06

I’ve been looking at recently (well, the service, not the company) as a few of the key open source vendors have standardised on it internally (Red Hat, MySQL and JBoss specifically). One of these did a shoot-out vs SugarCRM before settling on

Still a sledgehammer to crack a nut for me personally though. I just need a simple database to administer software service contracts and to draw a few management graphs that show status of renewals and conversion rates. The only gotcha is that I have 200 geographically dispersed salespeople that need to review and mark progress in their own customers - and for each to be able to send quotes out of the system with self-selected and/or /per-customer margin rates.

While it looks like I can do this with, i’m polling daily for details on SunRise to see if it’s a small data driven distributed forms-based collaboration service, or if it’s ready baked for contact management only. Or something else.

Ian W.
Simplicity Sells!

Martin 21 Jan 06

Are you selling to Salesforce? ;)

Peter Cooper 21 Jan 06

Why does Salesforce have such a crappy margin? And for what they’re doing it looks like they’re rather overstaffed.

A business in the software services industry should have a much better margin than that. Microsoft’s is 35%-40% if I recall, and they do insane amounts of R&D.

Jon 21 Jan 06

You’re all pawns in JF’s little game.

theCreator 22 Jan 06

Hmmm… I guess we all are. :)

lifebalance 22 Jan 06

What does RS (vs PE) stand for?

Curious 22 Jan 06

can someone with financial statement savvy check out how much cash SF has lying around? ie…could they invest in or buy up you guys?

Joe Grossberg 23 Jan 06

“a P/E of 182 is grossly over valued”

Generally, yes.

But you can’t make a blanket statement like that.

Let’s say ABC Inc. has earnings of $100,000 on sales of $1 billion. If their market cap is $18.2 million, that’s an awful P/E of 182. But the Price-to-Sales ratio of .018 is a freaking steal.

You can’t just look at one single number when investing and, unfortunately, the P/E ratio is the most overemphasized metric out there.

pwb 23 Jan 06

“If you read the Yahoo boards”, you are an idiot.