Following the close of markets in New York today, Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL) will be presenting its Q4 numbers and a number of writers and analysts, like Arik Hesseldahl of AllThingsD and Brendan Barnicle at Pacific Crest Securities are expecting strong numbers based on large software deals.
Oracle Corporations Earnings Call From Consensus Estimates
Consensus estimates are calling for earnings per share of $0.85 up 8 percent from the year-over-year quarter when Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL) reported earnings of $0.79. While this hasn’t changed in the last month, this is up ever so slightly from three months ago when analysts were calling for earnings of $0.84. For the fiscal year, analysts are expecting earnings of $2.78 per share. Revenue is expected to be $11.1 billion for the quarter, 2 percent higher than the year-earlier total of $10.9 billion. For the year, revenue is projected to roll in at $37.5 billion.
Software Mega-Sales Contribute to Outlook
Brendan Barnicle, a man ever so close to the coolest “Irish Pirate” name ever and an analyst with Pacific Crest Securities in Portland, OR, suggests these numbers could be higher given to large software sales the company made in the last month. Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL) sold two upgrades to existing PeopleSoft human resources software, one to the state of Washington’s university system, and the other to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Both deals are believed to be in excess of $100 million.
“It has been several quarters since we have heard of mega deals at Oracle. So, Oracle seems to be enjoying typical FQ4 seasonality,” Barnicle wrote.
This would stand in stark contrast to last quarter when new software licenses fell to 2 percent. Oracle blamed this failure on “sales execution” following the hiring of a number of new salespeople. The company claimed that this new sales force “ran out of runway.” A euphemism for “hiring the wrong people” perhaps?
Hardware is Key, Eyeballs on Exa
Hardware, of course, is a large part of any Oracle quarter. Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL)’s strategy has sought to build up a new line of hardware under the “Exa” brand, which is designed to be coupled with Oracle’s software in order to replace slumping UNIX server sales and x86 commodity hardware.
Brad Reback, an analyst with Stifel Nicolaus, thinks Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL)’s hardware business likely “bottomed out” last quarter, and will grow as much as 12 percent sequentially, to about $754 million in sales. While this represents a significant loss, he believes that it bodes well for fiscal 2014.
Oracle, at the time of this writing, is trading at $33.18 down $0.91 per share or 2.72 percent. The stock will look to rebound tomorrow following today’s quarterly reporting despite a slump brought about today by the Fed’s suggestion that it may pull back on its bond buying as early as late this year.