Tech Stocks This Week: Salesforce Rises, Workday Slumps, and More

In a week in which the S&P 500 nearly traded flat, earnings-season volatility seems to be tapering off. But a few stocks in tech still made for some interesting headlines and some notable moves in their stock prices. Three compelling stories in tech came from electric-car company Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA), software-as-a-service customer relationship management platform Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), and enterprise cloud applications company Workday (NASDAQ: WDAY).

  1. Tesla improved its Model 3 vehicles' brakes with a software update, prompting Consumer Reports to reverse a previous decision not to recommend the car.
  2. Salesforce kept up its strong momentum with another quarter that topped expectations.
  3. Workday posted record fiscal first-quarter results and raised its outlook for the year.

Here's what investors should know about each of these stories.

Consumer Reports recommends Model 3

When Consumer Reports chose not to recommend Tesla's Model 3 based on a number of different issues, Tesla's outspoken CEO Elon Musk was quick to come to the car's defense. Addressing Consumer Reports' problems with the Model 3's road noise and ride comfort, Musk noted that these issues had been addressed since the product-rating company took delivery of their Model 3 -- Consumer Reports' Model 3 was an "early production" car, Musk said.

"Wish we could make the car perfect from day 1, but there's always room for improvement," the CEO said on Twitter.

But what was most interesting about Tesla's response to Consumer Reports' negative take on the Model 3 was how the company responded to the rating-company's issue with the Model 3's poor braking. In a matter of days after hearing about Consumer Reports' findings about the Model 3's brakes, Tesla released a software update that improved the anti-lock braking system calibration algorithm, ultimately improving Model 3 braking by approximately 19 feet.

Salesforce beats expectations

Meanwhile, Salesforce stock rose about 1.4% during the week, handily beating the S&P 500's 0.25% gain. The stock's rise was driven by the company's strong first-quarter results, which featured revenue and non-GAAP earnings per share that were both above consensus analyst estimates for the period.

Salesforce reported fiscal first-quarter revenue and adjusted non-GAAP earnings per share of $3.01 billion and $0.74, respectively. These results compare to revenue and non-GAAP earnings per share of $2.4 billion and $0.29, respectively, in the year-ago quarter.

Salesforce also impressively gave its guidance for full-year fiscal 2019 revenue a significant boost, despite increasing its full-year fiscal 2019 revenue guidance by the largest amount it ever has in its previously reported quarter. Management said it expects fiscal 2019 revenue to be between $13.075 billion and $13.125 billion, up from a previous forecast for revenue between $12.6 billion and $12.65 billion.

Workday's rapid growth

Workday's revenue increased an impressive 28.9% year over year, to $618.6 million. This increase was driven primarily by a 30.6% year-over-year increase in subscription revenue, to $522.1 million. Workday's non-GAAP earnings per share for the quarter was $0.33, up from $0.29 in the year-ago quarter.

Workday CEO Aneel Bhusri said the quarter was driven primarily by "strong adoption and notable deployments of our finance and HR applications across customer sizes, geographies, and industries."

In light of the company's momentum, Workday raised its outlook for fiscal 2019, guiding for full-year revenue between $2.275 billion and $2.290 billion, representing growth of 27% to 28% year over year.

Despite the quarter's strong numbers and management's higher outlook for the fiscal year, Workday stock fell after the earnings report, with shares finishing the week down about 3%. The stock's decline could simply be because the company didn't live up to higher investor expectations in light of the stock's sharp run-up this year. Even after this week's decline, Workday stock is up 24% year to date, crushing the S&P 500's 2.3% gain during this same period.

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Daniel Sparks owns shares of Tesla. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends, Tesla, Twitter, and Workday. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.