Salesforce ($CRM) stock is near all-time highs, and analysts are bullish on its capability to grow via deal going forward. The software company will announce earnings February 25 and analysts tracked by Zacks Investment Research are expecting EPS of $0.12 - but some, are more bullish in the long-run.

"We think M&A is likely an ongoing part of Salesforce's growth strategy," UBS executive director Jennifer Swanson wrote in a February 21 research note that bumped Salesforce's price target from $190 to $230, also because its stock trades at a discount to the level other SaaS companies are seeing. 

Salesforce job postings are near multi-year highs; our chart tracks an increase of 97% since June 2018 for the San Francisco-based software company - and, its stock is also near an all-time high after a December hiccup, with shares tracing 12% gains in a turbulent 2020.

While Salesforce got its start in the Web 1.0 era, it appears to be adapting well to the smartphone age. Apple ($AAPL) Store Ratings totals for Salesforce's primary app grew by more than 78,000 in 2018 and added another 61,000 reviews last year - putting its engagement on a solid trajectory. 

Still, there are plenty of other apps out there that might fit into Salesforce's portfolio, which UBS' Lowe noted - and if it decides to build out its offerings to include more digital services, there are plenty of upstarts that it can consider for potential deals. With Microsoft striking numerous big-name tech deals over the last five years, Salesforce could come charging back with M&A next. 

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

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