Ahead of the Bell: Oracle

Some analysts mixed on Oracle going forward as its 4th-quarter performance disappoints

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Oracle are sliding sharply before the opening bell after its fourth-quarter earnings split Wall Street analysts that follow the software maker.

Late Thursday, Oracle reported an adjusted profit of 92 cents per share on revenue of $11.32 billion. That was short of Wall Street projections on both counts.

Citigroup's Walter Pritchard said that license growth was soft in the quarter and he believes revenue from the company's software as a service (SaaS) cloud business is growing at a slow pace.

Pritchard stripped the company of a 'buy' rating reduced his price target to $41, from $44.

Brad Reback of Stifel Nicolaus remains more upbeat. While he agrees that the quarter was "messier than expected," he pointed out that there were some positives like solid cloud bookings and the second straight quarter of hardware growth.

Reback believes Oracle remains focused on growing its cloud business and considers it a healthy long-term move for the company. Unlike Pritchard, he stuck to his "Buy" rating and $47 price target.

Shares of Oracle Corp. fell $2.68, or 6.3 percent, to $39.82 in premarket trading.

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