Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report released on Tuesday, December 19th.

According to Zacks, “Oracle reported encouraging second-quarter results, with both the top and bottom line surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Also, year-over-year comparisons on both counts were favourable. Oracle’s top-line growth benefited from the ongoing cloud-based momentum. However, the company’s soft cloud outlook for the third quarter reflects intensifying competition from Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) in the cloud. Moreover, higher investments on PaaS and IaaS will keep margins under pressure in the near term. Further, a strong U.S. dollar remains a headwind. Shares of the company have also underperformed the industry on a year-to-date basis. Nevertheless, we believe that the company is benefiting from significant momentum in the SaaS offerings. Moreover, the next-generation autonomous database, which is supported by machine learning, is a key catalyst.”

A number of other analysts have also recently commented on ORCL. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $53.00 price target on shares of Oracle in a research report on Sunday, August 27th. ValuEngine raised Oracle from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Vetr cut Oracle from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $46.58 price objective for the company. in a report on Sunday, September 3rd. Credit Suisse Group began coverage on Oracle in a report on Tuesday, September 5th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $62.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Moffett Nathanson began coverage on Oracle in a report on Wednesday, September 6th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $65.00 price objective for the company. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and twenty-eight have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $55.28.

Oracle (ORCL) traded up $0.56 during trading on Tuesday, hitting $49.51. The stock had a trading volume of 15,977,966 shares, compared to its average volume of 18,060,000. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.03, a current ratio of 5.07 and a quick ratio of 5.04. The firm has a market cap of $206,630.00, a PE ratio of 21.25, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.87 and a beta of 1.05. Oracle has a 52-week low of $38.59 and a 52-week high of $53.14.

Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, December 14th. The enterprise software provider reported $0.70 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.68 by $0.02. Oracle had a return on equity of 20.49% and a net margin of 25.48%. The company had revenue of $9.63 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.57 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.61 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 6.2% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts forecast that Oracle will post 2.68 EPS for the current year.

Oracle declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback program on Thursday, December 14th that authorizes the company to buyback $12.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the enterprise software provider to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, Director Hector Garcia-Molina sold 3,750 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.83, for a total value of $183,112.50. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 18,125 shares in the company, valued at $885,043.75. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP Dorian Daley sold 100,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.59, for a total value of $4,759,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 136,954 shares in the company, valued at $6,517,640.86. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 111,250 shares of company stock worth $5,306,238. Insiders own 29.00% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Keel Point LLC lifted its stake in Oracle by 0.3% during the second quarter. Keel Point LLC now owns 5,349 shares of the enterprise software provider’s stock worth $268,000 after purchasing an additional 14 shares in the last quarter. Joel Isaacson & Co. LLC lifted its stake in Oracle by 0.3% during the second quarter. Joel Isaacson & Co. LLC now owns 8,197 shares of the enterprise software provider’s stock worth $411,000 after purchasing an additional 24 shares in the last quarter. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC lifted its stake in Oracle by 0.4% during the second quarter. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC now owns 8,110 shares of the enterprise software provider’s stock worth $404,000 after purchasing an additional 35 shares in the last quarter. Partnervest Advisory Services LLC lifted its stake in Oracle by 0.6% during the second quarter. Partnervest Advisory Services LLC now owns 6,731 shares of the enterprise software provider’s stock worth $337,000 after purchasing an additional 39 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bell Bank lifted its stake in Oracle by 0.9% during the first quarter. Bell Bank now owns 6,079 shares of the enterprise software provider’s stock worth $271,000 after purchasing an additional 57 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 57.89% of the company’s stock.

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About Oracle

Oracle Corporation (Oracle) provides products and services that address all aspects of corporate information technology (IT) environments, including application, platform and infrastructure. The Company’s businesses include cloud and on-premise software, hardware and services. Its cloud and on-premise software business consists of three segments, including cloud software and on-premise software, which includes Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings, cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and software license updates and product support.

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