(NYSE: CRM), the customer-relationship management software developer, reported stronger than expected third-quarter results Tuesday and made bullish predictions for the current quarter.


The San Francisco-based company reported operating earnings of 33 cents a share, a penny ahead of estimates, as revenue rose 35 percent to $788 million, about $12 million above analyst predictions.


CEO Marc Benioff cited “strong customer response to our next-generation social and mobile cloud technologies. Going forward, fourth-quarter operating earnings are expected to rise to 38 cents to 40 cents a share on revenue of $825 million to $830 million, 31 percent above prior-year results." competes against larger vendors including Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) and SAP (NYSE: SAP). took various charges, including a one-time $149 million charge for a tax valuation allowance. On a net basis, the company reported its loss widened to $220.3 million, or $1.55 a share, from $3.8 million, or 3 cents, a year earlier.


Shares of were flat in after-hours Tuesday trading. They closed at $145.90, down $1.42 in regular trading. They've gained 44 percent in 2012.