Oracle’s (NYSE: ORCL) recently announced fourth quarter results were a pleasant surprise for the stock. After two quarters of shrinking revenue, the company finally reported marginal growth in revenues. Oracle has been transitioning from a traditional licensed-based model to a subscription-based model to drive cloud computing revenues. The transition has hurt revenue growth in the recent past, but is expected to deliver results in the longer run. The market was pleased with Oracle’s results and the stock soared to a record high post result announcement.
Revenue for the fourth quarter grew 1% over the year to $11.13 billion, ahead of the market’s forecast of $10.95 billion. EPS of $1.16 was also ahead of the market’s forecast of $1.07. The improvement in earnings was attributed to the continued adoption of high-margin Fusion and NetSuite cloud applications and the downsizing of its low-margin legacy hardware business. Its non GAAP operating margin was 47%, which is the highest in the last five years.
By segment, cloud services and license support revenues were flat over the year at $6.80 billion, marginally ahead of the Street’s forecast of $6.76 billion. Cloud licenses and on-premise license revenues grew 12% to $2.52 billion, again ahead of the market’s forecast of $2.3 billion. Hardware revenues reported a decline of 11% over the year to $994 million and Services revenues fell 7% to $823 million.
Oracle ended the year with revenues remaining flat at $39.5 billion. Adjusted earnings grew 15% to $3.52 per share.
For the current quarter, Oracle expects to report an EPS of $0.80-$0.82, compared with the Street’s forecast of $0.80.
Oracle’s Product Expansion
Oracle continues to focus on machine learning and AI to drive revenues within the cloud segment. Its ML-backed Autonomous Database was released during the last quarter. To drive market adoption of the Database, Oracle entered into a new partnership with Microsoft earlier this month. As part of the agreement, Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform will be able to connect with Oracle Cloud to allow customers to connect Azure services with Oracle cloud services. They will be able to run some workloads on Microsoft’s cloud and some on Oracle’s cloud. The partnership will help Oracle attract customers to the Autonomous Database while continuing to benefit from the cloud services from Microsoft.
The partnership also signifies the coming together of Microsoft and Oracle jointly to take on Amazon. Amazon has been cross-selling its Cloud services and is targeting the database market. Amazon’s database sales within the enterprise segment not only take market away from Oracle, but also ensure that more customers are locked into the AWS ecosystem instead of the Microsoft ecosystem. The integration will help both these players target Amazon’s growing cloud presence.
Meanwhile, to strengthen the ML and AI offerings, Oracle recently announced several new enhancements to its existing Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) cloud-based offerings. It also extended the functionality of its Human Capital Management (HCM) cloud platform to improve employee engagement and manager experience using smart Digital Assistants and an enhanced HR Help Desk.
Its stock is currently trading at $56.07 with a market capitalization of $187.04 billion. It touched a 52-week high of $57.47 earlier this week. It has recovered from the 52-week low of $42.40 that it was trading at nearly a year ago.
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This segment is a part in the series : Cloud Stocks