Salesforce reported better-than-expected first quarter earnings and CEO Marc Benioff said the company will infuse "trusted, secure generative AI across our entire product portfolio."

Not surprisingly, Salesforce was talking about generative AI. After all, what vendor isn't talking about generative AI? Benioff, however, noted Salesforce has a portfolio of generative AI brands including Einstein GPT, Slack GPT and Tableau GPT. The company also said its Salesforce GPT Trust Layer is designed to deploy generative AI in a way that secures enterprise data.

As previously reported, enterprises are currently working on how to leverage generative AI and tune using corporate data sets securely.

Speaking on an earnings conference call, Benioff said every CEO realizes that it must invest in generative AI. "Every CEO wants more productivity, automation and intelligence by using AI," he said. 

Customers also need to understand where their data is going while keeping compliance, said Benioff. Enterprise customers will have to worry about compliance, security and regulation more than consumer industries will, he added. "This AI revolution is just getting started," said Benioff, who said AI will lead to a new super cycle. He said he was in a customer meeting and all anyone wanted to talk about was generative AI. 

Salesforce is planning an AI event in New York in June.

Salesforce reported first quarter earnings of 20 cents a share on revenue of $8.25 billion, up 11% from a year ago. Non-GAAP earnings were $1.69 a share. Wall Street analysts were expecting Salesforce to report first quarter earnings of $1.61 a share on revenue of $8.17 billion.

Benioff also added that Salesforce has become more efficient by improving its non-GAAP margin by 1,000 basis points from a year ago. Salesforce reiterated its revenue outlook for fiscal 2024 and updated its earnings outlook.

"We are transforming every corner of our company," said Benioff, who said Salesforce is improving profitability as well as efficiency. "While the economy isn't in our control our margins are."

For the second quarter, Salesforce is projecting revenue of $8.51 billion to $8.53 billion, up about 10% from a year ago. Non-GAAP earnings for the quarter will be $1.89 a share to $1.90 a share.

For fiscal 2024, Salesforce is projecting sales of $34.5 billion to $34.7 billion with non-GAAP earnings of $7.41 a share to $7.43 a share.

By cloud, Salesforce's Sales Cloud had first quarter revenue of $1.81 billion, up from $1.63 billion a year ago.

  • Service Cloud had revenue of $1.96 billion, up from $1.76 billion a year ago.
  • Platform and Other had revenue of $1.57 billion, up from $1.42 billion a year ago.
  • Marketing and Commerce had revenue of $1.17 billion, up from $1.09 billion a year ago.
  • And Data Cloud had revenue of $1.13 billion, up from $955 million a year ago.