Oracle Corporation Earnings Preview: ‘Modest’ Upside Expected

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Oracle is scheduled to release the earnings results from its fourth fiscal quarter after closing bell tonight. The company is expected to show continued momentum, particularly in cloud services, despite the mixed results we’ve seen from other companies in the Information Technology sector recently.

What to expect in Oracle’s earnings results

In a report dated June 16, Cantor Fitzgerald analysts Brian White and Isabel Zhu noted that Oracle has been quickly expanding its portfolio of Cloud services. As a result, they’re expecting good things in the company’s Cloud segment.

Overall, they believe Oracle could beat their revenue estimate of $10.71 billion for the fourth fiscal quarter. They point out that the consensus estimate for revenue is $10.96 billion. They’re also behind the consensus estimate for earnings per share at 84 cents per share compared to the consensus of 87 cents. They also expect a modest beat of their estimate for earnings.

Oracle management provided constant currency guidance of a 1% to 6% year over year increase in revenue and constant currency earnings of between 90 cents and 96 cents per share.

The Cantor Fitzgerald team projects a growth rate of 51% quarter over quarter for New Software Licenses and Cloud Software Subscriptions Revenue, which made up 27% of third quarter revenue. They note that the fourth quarter is usually seasonally strong. They’re expecting sequentially flat growth in Software License Updates and Product Support, which was half of Oracle’s revenue in the third quarter.

Mixed results in IT sector

Oracle and its peers have been plagued by mixed spending in IT, which of course is out of their control. Also impacts from the strengthening of the U.S. dollar have weighed on all U.S.-based international companies. Because of these two items, the IT sector as a whole has posted mixed results.

The Cantor Fitzgerald team expects the negative incremental currency impact on Oracle’s results from the previous reporting period to be “muted.” However, they expect a “meaningful” impact on the company’s year over year comparison.

The Cloud to boost Oracle’s earnings

Despite the two problems that are out of Oracle’s control, the analysts point out that the company has posted strong results on the back of continued momentum in the Cloud. They expect the trend to continue for now.

In March, management upped their fourth fiscal quarter objective for recurring revenue from new system-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service customers from more than $250 million to more than $300 million. They also demonstrated continue momentum in Cloud services at their HCM World conference. Further, the Cantor Fitzgerald team believes Oracle’s Database 12c will start having “a more important impact” in the 2016 fiscal year.

White and Zhu have a Buy rating and $48 per share price target on Oracle. As of this writing, shares of Oracle were up 0.09% at $44.68 per share in early trading.

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