Conservative · Stocks to Consider and Updates

Oracle Sales and Profit Declines; Beats Projections

ORCL Oracle Corp. (NYSE: ORCL – $37.08) said its earnings fell 12% in the latest quarter, as the hit from a strong U.S. dollar offset continued growth in its cloud business. The Redwood City, Calif., company said that the stronger dollar hurt per-share earnings by 5 cents in the November quarter. Oracle added that its revenue fell 6% overall, but was flat on a constant-currency basis. Meanwhile, Oracle has bolstered its offerings of services that run in the cloud as demand for traditional software that businesses run on their own computers has waned. In the latest quarter, Oracle’s total cloud revenue rose 26% to $649 million, or an increase of 31% excluding currency effects. For the period ended Nov. 30, Oracle reported an adjusted net profit equal to $0.63 cents from $0.69 a year ago and three cents above Street estimates. Revenue fell to $8.99 billion from $9.6 billion, in line with consensus. The company grew Software as a Service and Platform as a Service revenue 38% in constant dollars this past quarter, and expects the revenue growth rate to accelerate to nearly 50% in the next quarter and close to 60% in Q4, which should push margins higher. Oracle offered guidance for the remainder of fiscal 2016 and expects revenue growth in the third quarter of 0% to +3% and adjusted earnings per share at $0.63 to $0.66 per share. For Q4, Oracle believes revenue can grow 1% to 3% and adjusted EPS is seen at $0.83 to $0.86, somewhat higher than the Street view of $0.82. Currency exchange rates will remain a significant headwind for the next few quarters, but at their recent valuation, quality Oracle shares may continue to be of interest to conservative investors with a two to three-year horizon.


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