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Oracle set to release fiscal 1Q results

NEW YORK (AP) -- Wall Street is looking to Oracle's latest quarterly results, due out after the market close Wednesday, for signs of a turnaround at the business software maker.

Oracle's results for the last two quarters have disappointed investors and heightened fears that the company might not be adequately adapting to the continued customer shift toward subscription-based software.

Businesses and government agencies are increasingly buying software through monthly or annual subscriptions that allow workers to access applications on any machine with an Internet connection. This "cloud computing" approach is a shift from Oracle's traditional approach of licensing software that is installed on individual computers kept on the premises of its customers.

Oracle has been offering more cloud computing options through acquisitions and in-house development, but the shift continues to be led by smaller companies that were set up to focus on leasing software over the Internet.

Nomura's Rick Sherlund backed his "Buy" rating for the stock, saying the he expects the fiscal first-quarter results to be in line with average analysts' expectations, marking an improvement from the previous two quarters.

In addition, the stock should get a boost from meetings set for next week where the company is expected to reveal details about its new products and cloud-computing initiatives, he said.

In reporting its fiscal fourth-quarter results in June, Oracle said it expects to post a fiscal first-quarter profit of between 56 cents and 59 cents per share.

Analysts, on average, expect earnings of 56 cents per share on $8.48 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.