Oracle Beats Street, Cloud Business Shines
Best known for databases used by many big businesses, Oracle Corp. (NYSE: ORCL – $44.59) posted results for its fiscal second quarter of 2015 that were a pleasant surprise for investors who had lost confidence in the company’s ability to churn out reliable financial results. Adjusted profits and revenue exceeded the average estimates from Street analysts, breaking a string of three straight quarters in which Oracle’s financial results fell short of expectations. Oracle’s revenue of $9.6 billion was up 3.5% from a year earlier and was a bit higher than the average consensus estimates of $9.51 billion. Adjusted earnings were $0.69 a share, a penny higher than analyst expectations and about 2% below last year’s second quarter. Conventional server-based software and cloud revenues was up 5% to $7.3 billion. The biggest surprise was perhaps the company’s cloud software businesses, all three of which grew a combined $517 million. Cloud software-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service and infrastructure-as-a-service revenue was up 45% to $516 million. Hardware Systems revenues were up 1% from last year to $1.3 billion. It’s clear that the company has fully embraced the transition to cloud architecture to include Oracle’s 12c database services also offered on the cloud. While smaller cloud competitors reap most of the headlines these days, Oracle’s strong market reach gives it a long-term competitive advantage. Following the earnings news, ORCL shares were trading at prices not seen since its peak in 2002. Conservative accounts may continue to find interest here as I foresee more good news ahead through late decade.