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Will Oracle (ORCL) Disappoint This Earnings Season?

Zacks Equity Research

Oracle Corp (ORCL) is set to report fiscal first quarter 2014 results on Sep 18. In the prior quarter, the company posted in line results. Moreover, the company posted an average negative earnings surprise of 0.68% over the past four quarters. Let’s see how things are shaping up for the company in this quarter.

Growth Factors this Past Quarter

Oracle reported modest revenue growth based on higher software revenues, which climbed 3.3% year over year to $8.44 billion, primarily driven by a 5.9% increase in software license update and product support revenues.

Operating margin jumped 30 basis points (bps) on a year-over-year basis to 49.1%, primarily due to declining operating expenses, which fully offset flat year-over-year revenues. On a sequential basis, operating margin increased 440 bps due to higher-than-expected decline in operating expenses.

Earnings Whispers?

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the first quarter stands at 53 cents per share while that for fiscal 2014 is $2.76 per share. There have been no revisions in the first quarter and 2014 estimates over the last 60 days.

The lack of any movement in estimates signals that the first quarter might not be too different from the past quarters. This is also indicated by that fact that the stock carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

We caution against stocks with Zacks Ranks #4 and #5 (Sell-rated stocks) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions momentum.

Other Stocks to Consider

Our model states that a stock needs to have both a positive Zacks  and a Zack Earnings ESP and a Rank of #1, #2 or #3 to beat earnings estimates. You could, however, consider the following stocks that satisfy both criteria:

Micron Technology (MU) has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and Zacks Earnings ESP of +27.27%

Infoblox Inc (BLOX) has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and Zacks Earnings ESP of +50.00%

Synnex Corp (SNX) has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and Zacks Earnings ESP of +2.11%.

Read the Full Research Report on MURead the Full Research Report on ORCLRead the Full Research Report on SNXRead the Full Research Report on BLOXZacks Investment Research