Oracle’s shares plunged by as much as 8.51% to $41.09 per share today after last night’s earnings disappointment. Today analysts are attempting to reassure investors, and most aren’t downgrading the company’s stock despite the miss.
Oracle misses on top and bottom lines
Oracle posted non-GAAP revenue of $10.71 billion and non-GAAP earnings of 78 cents per share. The general consensus among analysts is that the company’s Cloud sales were encouraging enough to balance out the earnings miss.
Cantor Fitzgerald analysts Brian White and Isabel Zhu noted that Oracle’s sales met their estimate, although they missed the consensus of $10.94 billion. Their non-GAAP earnings estimate was 84 cents per share, and the consensus was 86 cents per share. Oracle management made clear that currency headwinds had a major impact on the results.
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Oracle becoming all about the Cloud
The Cantor Fitzgerald team noted that Oracle is showing excellent momentum in the Cloud heading into the 2016 fiscal year. Non-GAAP cloud revenue was $579 million, which beat their estimate of $550 million.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts Kash Rangan and Nikolay Beliov said Oracle’s big problem is Wall Street’s current view of it as a licensing company. They said investors are going to have to take “a leap of good faith into the Cloud” and that Wall Street isn’t giving Oracle enough credit for its annual recurring Cloud revenue.
They noted that bookings grew 200% year over year, which is an acceleration from February’s 130% growth rate. Also Oracle beat its guidance in this area by $126 million. The BAML team said if translating this beat into “license equivalent” revenue, they get $375 million. They actually saw Oracle’s earnings per share as “commendable” because of the lag between the expenses from booking new Cloud business and recognizing revenue from that business.
Further, BAML sees an opportunity in today’s pullback in Oracle shares because they think it is overdone.
But not all convinced
FBR & Co. analysts Daniel Ives and James Moore were slightly more critical on Oracle following last night’s earnings report. They believe that in addition to currencies, Oracle is having some issues with transitioning to the Cloud and refer to the May quarter as a “head-scratching quarter.”
The FBR team thinks Oracle now has a chance to build credibility with investors back up again over the next few quarters “if it finally delivers on its holistic cloud vision and top-line growth recovery story.” They maintained their Outperform rating “in hopes of Oracle bouncing back” in the first half of 2016 but cut their price target on the company’s stock from $48 to $44 per share.
Deutsche Bank analysts Karl Keirstead and Imtiaz Koujalgi are also skeptical that the shift from software licensing toward the cloud was Oracle’s only problem in the last quarter. They pointed out that Cloud revenues were only 4% of total revenue. Further, most Cloud bookings came from “net new workloads,” and they see Oracle’s Cloud database business as being “too nascent to materially dent” the company’s “huge” on- premises database license business.
They believe license sales for on-premises apps, which were about 20% of the total mix, declined, but they also think database license sales were weak as well, apart from the shift to the Cloud.
Oracle’s guidance was weak too
Oracle guided for a 5% to 8% increase on non-GAAP sales earnings of between 56 cents and 59 cents per share. The company missed the consensus estimate of earnings of 61 cents per share for the first fiscal quarter.