Verity & Verity LLC Cuts Stake in Oracle Co. (NYSE:ORCL)

Verity & Verity LLC lowered its stake in shares of Oracle Co. (NYSE:ORCL) by 29.0% in the third quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 77,939 shares of the enterprise software provider’s stock after selling 31,894 shares during the period. Verity & Verity LLC’s holdings in Oracle were worth $4,250,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in ORCL. Appleton Partners Inc. MA boosted its holdings in Oracle by 2.9% in the 2nd quarter. Appleton Partners Inc. MA now owns 6,170 shares of the enterprise software provider’s stock valued at $351,000 after purchasing an additional 173 shares during the last quarter. Northern Oak Wealth Management Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Oracle by 14.8% in the 2nd quarter. Northern Oak Wealth Management Inc. now owns 1,378 shares of the enterprise software provider’s stock worth $78,000 after acquiring an additional 178 shares during the last quarter. Slow Capital Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Oracle by 1.1% in the 2nd quarter. Slow Capital Inc. now owns 17,403 shares of the enterprise software provider’s stock worth $991,000 after acquiring an additional 197 shares during the last quarter. Meristem Family Wealth LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Oracle by 4.6% in the 2nd quarter. Meristem Family Wealth LLC now owns 4,478 shares of the enterprise software provider’s stock worth $255,000 after acquiring an additional 198 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Field & Main Bank lifted its holdings in shares of Oracle by 5.7% in the 2nd quarter. Field & Main Bank now owns 3,709 shares of the enterprise software provider’s stock worth $211,000 after acquiring an additional 200 shares during the last quarter. 53.74% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

In other news, Director Hector Garcia-Molina sold 4,643 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, September 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.14, for a total value of $246,729.02. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 38,562 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,049,184.68. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Mark V. Hurd sold 787,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.80, for a total transaction of $40,792,500.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 1,038,755 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $53,807,509. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 845,143 shares of company stock worth $43,950,409 over the last three months. 36.60% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several equities analysts have recently commented on ORCL shares. Cowen started coverage on shares of Oracle in a report on Friday, August 16th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $65.00 price objective on the stock. Sanford C. Bernstein set a $66.00 price objective on shares of Oracle and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, September 12th. KeyCorp restated a “hold” rating on shares of Oracle in a report on Thursday, June 20th. Wells Fargo & Co upped their price objective on shares of Oracle from $60.00 to $65.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, June 20th. Finally, Barclays decreased their price objective on shares of Oracle from $59.00 to $57.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, September 12th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have issued a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $56.38.

Shares of NYSE:ORCL traded up $1.40 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $56.89. The stock had a trading volume of 18,682,818 shares, compared to its average volume of 13,949,403. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.67, a quick ratio of 2.25 and a current ratio of 2.25. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $53.45 and its 200-day moving average is $54.62. The stock has a market capitalization of $177.42 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.00, a P/E/G ratio of 1.59 and a beta of 1.16. Oracle Co. has a 1 year low of $42.40 and a 1 year high of $60.50.

Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, September 11th. The enterprise software provider reported $0.81 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.72 by $0.09. The firm had revenue of $9.22 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.29 billion. Oracle had a net margin of 27.71% and a return on equity of 48.85%. The company’s revenue was up .2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.71 EPS. Analysts forecast that Oracle Co. will post 3.47 EPS for the current year.

Oracle announced that its board has approved a stock buyback program on Wednesday, September 11th that permits the company to repurchase $15.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the enterprise software provider to buy up to 8.4% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are often a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, October 24th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, October 10th will be given a dividend of $0.24 per share. This represents a $0.96 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.69%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, October 9th. Oracle’s payout ratio is currently 30.38%.

About Oracle

Oracle Corporation develops, manufactures, markets, sells, hosts, and supports application, platform, and infrastructure solutions for information technology (IT) environments worldwide. The company provides services in three primary layers of the cloud: Software as a Service, Platform as a Service, and Infrastructure as a Service.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Oracle (NYSE:ORCL)

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