If you’re holding shares in Saleforce.com (StockQuote: CRM) it might be time to sell.
So says Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Nemeroff. The analyst slashed his rating on Salesforce.com from “hold” to “sell” and says that the online sales giant’s current stock price of $36 is about $10 higher than his target stock price of $27.
Again, it’s all about the lousy economy, especially for Salesforce’s smaller customers.
Such firms, says Nemeroff, “could continue to be pressured by negative economic headwinds and that subscriber attrition at existing larger customers could continue to increase over the next 1-3 years due to shelf-ware reductions from multi-year agreements coming up for rewnewal.”
In addition, Salesforce may have received an artificial stock price boost in the form of unfounded rumors that it was the target of a takeover by Google or Cisco – which hasn’t happened and isn’t likely to, Nemeroff says. Going forward, Nemeroff thinks that revenues at Salesforce.com will fall below 20% this quarter – the first time that’s ever happened.
Taken together, that’s a recipe for a tanking stock price at Salesforce.com.
Elsewhere, there’s more news on the technology jobs front and once again, it’s not good.
Both Forrester Research and Gartner Group are out with jobs forecasts in the tech field and the consensus is that employment in the sector will continue to decline throughout 2009, with a possible bounce-back in 2010.
Forrester reports that technology jobs are forecast to decline by 1.2% this year. That number might need to be recalculated, as the U.S. Labor Department that tech jobs have declined in the U.S. by 1% in the last four months alone.
That’s going to further impact technology spending, says Gartner. According to the tech analyst firm, technology spending this year is expected to fall 3.8% worldwide and 1.6% in the United States. Compare those numbers to 2008, when global tech spending rose by 6.1%, according to Gartner.
"Certainly, reduced spending will have an effect on [tech] jobs everywhere," said Ken McGee, a tech analyst for Gartner. "We've already begun to see it with many users and vendors."
Jobs considered “safe” by Forrester include systems managers, computer programmers, and help desk support staff.
“For the most part, those whose work is essential to the daily operations of a business, like systems experts for networks and communication, are expected to have more job security than others, according to Forrester. Very strong demand for communication, e-mail and video conferencing have put experts in those fields in high demand.”
Jobs that might be on the chopping block include R&D, software engineering, and customer tech support professionals.
All is not dark, however. Gartner says that tech spending will rebound in 2010, and bring more tech jobs back with it. The firm says that tech spending will increase by 3.4% in the United States in 2010 and continue to rise through 2013.