Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff says foreign exchange pushed the company to lower revenue guidance


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Salesforce co-founder and co-CEO Marc Benioff told CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Tuesday that the rising value of the dollar played a part in the software company lowering revenue guidance in its latest quarter.

“Our guidance is really impacted by foreign exchange,” Benioff said in an interview on “Mad Money.” “We have now had to consume about $600 million of foreign exchange changes … since we first gave guidance last November.”

“The [U.S] dollar gets stronger and stronger as an incredible safe haven. And while that’s great if all of your revenue’s in the United States, we do have strong businesses internationally – we’re the third-largest software company in Japan right now,” he said, adding that he’s “never seen anything like” the deceleration of the Japanese yen since March.

The dollar index, which compares the U.S. currency’s performance against other major currencies including the euro and the yen, is up more than 6% this year and hit its highest level in about 20 years this month.

While a strong dollar can boost the performance of companies that largely depend on business in the U.S., it’s bad news for those that rely on businesses in Europe and Asia and see smaller profits when foreign sales are translated into dollars. 

“While we had a great quarter, the U.S. dollar, they had a far better quarter than we did. I’ve never seen the strength of the dollar like this,” Benioff said.

Salesforce beat Wall Street expectations on first-quarter revenue and earnings reported after the bell on Tuesday. The company raised its profit outlook but lowered its revenue guidance. 

Disclosure: Cramer’s Charitable Trust owns shares of Salesforce.

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