Friday, May 18, 2012 (NYSE: CRM): CLSA Boosts Rating To Buy; Target To $180 (NYSE: CRM): CLSA Boosts Rating To Buy; Target To $180Shawshank, VA 5/18/12 (StreetBeat) -- CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets analyst Ed Maguire this morning upped his rating on (NYSE: CRM) to Buy from Outperform, with a new target of $180, up from $160. The upgrade follows the cloud-based software company’s better-than-expected earnings report for the fiscal second quarter ended April.

Maguire writes that the upgrade reflects “improved confidence that growing revenue visibility, healthy business momentum and operational discipline can deliver sustained upside.”

The analyst adds that an increase in total backlog and growing contribution from long-term deals “speak volumes about customer commitment (rather than sales tactics) and this builds a baseline for upward revision as management demonstrates margin leverage.”

Salesforce shares are off to a big start Friday; the stock is up $13.95, or 10.4%, to $147.75.

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