Oracle Corporation Surges After Earnings Report

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Oracle released its latest earnings report last night, and the results were toward the high end of management’s guidance. The company missed the consensus estimate for revenue but was in line with the estimate for earnings per share at a time when management is setting the bar for expectations low.

Shares of Oracle climbed as much as 4.53% to $44.81 per share during regular trading hours today.

Key metrics from Oracle’s earnings report

Oracle posted adjusted earnings of 68 cents per share on $9.33 billion in revenue. Analysts had been expecting earnings of 68 cents per share on $9.48 billion in revenue for the third fiscal quarter of 2015.

Software revenue rose 1% to $7.18 billion, compared to the consensus estimate of $7.28 billion. New Software Licenses amounted to $1.98 billion, coming up just barely short of the $2 billion estimate. Cloud SaaS and PaaS was $375 million, which was slightly ahead of the estimated $372 million. Cloud IaaS was $155 million, a 28% increase and in line with the consensus estimate. Support revenue improved 2% to $4.66 billion, coming up short of the $4.75 billion estimate.

Hardware revenue declined 2% to $1.3 billion, which again was short of the consensus estimate of $1.31 billion.

Analysts weigh in on Oracle’s earnings report

Analysts from multiple firms agree that foreign exchange rates were to blame for Oracle’s revenue estimates as they had a worse than expected impact on sales. However, in constant currency, revenue improved 6%, which was toward the high end of the 4% to 8% increase Oracle had guided for previously.

In a report dated March 17, Cantor Fitzgerald analysts Brian White and Isabel Zhu pointed out that Oracle is showing strength in its cloud offerings, which is important. During the quarter, Oracle recorded almost $200 million worth of new SaaS and PaaS annual recurring revenue. The company then upped its guidance for new recurring revenue for the current quarter from more than $250 million to more than $300 million.

For the full 2015 calendar year, Oracle expects to sell more than $1 billion in new SaaS and PaaS business. Previously, management had guided for well over $1 billion in the fiscal year.

The company said it expects a 1% to 6% year over year increase in constant currency sales for the current quarter and pro forma earnings per share to be between 90 cents and 96 cents, compared to the consensus estimate of 94 cents per share.

Oracle ups dividend

In addition to the positive earnings number, Oracle also surprised Wall Street by announcing that it was raising its dividend. The company raised the dividend 25% to 15 cents per share from 12 cents previously.

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