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Oracle’s stock drops after it misses revenue targets

Shares of Oracle Corp. fell 3% in extended trading today after the database giant reported mixed second-quarter financial results that missed revenue estimates.

The results came as Oracle Chairman and Chief Technology Officer Larry Ellison (pictured) clarified that the company has no plans to hire a second chief executive officer to work with Safra Catz following the recent death of Mark Hurd.

Oracle reported a profit before certain costs such as stock compensation of 90 cents per share on revenue of $9.61 billion, up a scant half percentage point from a year ago. Wall Street was expecting an 88-cent profit, albeit on slightly higher revenue of $9.65 billion.

The highlight for the company this quarter was its Cloud Services and License Support business segment, its largest overall, which pulled in revenue of $6.81 billion, up 3% from a year ago but just below Wall Street’s $6.82 billion forecast. Within that unit, cloud revenue for Oracle’s Autonomous Database more than doubled.

“It’s still early days, but the Oracle Autonomous Database already has thousands of customers running in our Gen2 Public Cloud,” Ellison said in a statement. He added that its growth rate is expected “to increase dramatically as we release our Autonomous Database running on our Gen2 Cloud@Customer into our huge on-premise installed base over the next several months.”

Elsewhere, Oracle’s Cloud License and On-Premise License business contributed another $1.13 billion in revenue, down 7% from a year ago. Hardware revenue was down 2%, to $846.5 million, while Services revenue fell 1%, to $806 million.

Ellison also noted the growth of Oracle’s cloud enterprise resource planning products, saying that Fusion ERP revenue jumped 37%, while NetSuite ERP revenue grew by 29%. He said there was an opportunity for Oracle to tap into its rivals’ customer bases to grow its ERP businesses even further.

“Many of SAP’s largest customers are already working with us to develop plans to migrate to Fusion ERP,” Ellison said on a conference call. “SAP’s customer base is up for grabs.”

Those highlights aside, analyst Charles King of Pund-IT Inc. told SiliconANGLE that beating on earnings while missing on revenue is never a happy situation, and that it followed a weaker-than-expected performance in the previous quarter too.

“That obviously rattled some Oracle shareholders, but jumping ship may have been an extreme reaction given the slim differences between the company’s performance and analysts’ expectations,” King said.

In mitigation, King said Oracle is far from alone in ending the quarter on a low note, as numerous technology firms have struggled amid the ongoing economic and trade disputes between the U.S. and China.

Constellation Research Inc. analyst Holger Mueller said he thought Oracle had done well to keep its revenue up even if it missed targets, but that it’s main challenge would be to keep this up going forward.

“What is clear now is that Oracle really needed NetSuite, as the vendor otherwise would be shrinking. Hardware, on-premises license and services are all shrinking, and Oracle is also not growing in EMEA, a database stronghold, which is a surprise and possibly an execution problem,” Mueller said. “The growth engines need to outgrow the shrinking revenue lines, and that’s what Oracle needs to execute on in Q3 and Q4.”

Oracle was rocked during the quarter by the untimely death of its co-CEO Hurd, who passed away in October. During the call, Ellison said the company is planning to bring in some new talent, including some people who are “potential CEOs.” But he said there are “no plans for having a second CEO,” meaning that Catz will now lead the company by herself, or at least as much as Ellison allows.

Also during the quarter, Oracle announced an important partnership with VMware Inc. that enables their joint customers to setup hybrid cloud environments that can run VMware services in Oracle’s cloud. Oracle also acquired the customer loyalty startup CrowdTwist Inc. during the quarter.

For the third quarter, Catz told investors the company is expecting earnings in the range of 95 to 97 cents per share, the midpoint of which is just below Wall Street’s forecast earnings of 97 cents per share.

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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