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Cloud Stocks: Oracle Brags About Autonomous Database

Posted on Tuesday, Sep 17th 2019

Oracle (NYSE: ORCL) recently announced its first quarter results and the market is not at all impressed. The continued slowdown of revenue growth in the past few quarters coupled with the news that its co-CEO Mark Hurd was taking an indefinite leave of absence due to an illness did not go down well with the market. The stock fell nearly 5% following the result announcement.

Oracle’s Financials

Oracle advanced its result announcement by a day and reported revenues for the first quarter at $9.22 billion, a modest 0.3% growth over the year and missing the market’s forecast of $9.29 billion. Oracle attributed the miss in revenues to a sales force reorganization in North America that resulted in a lower than expected software license revenue. EPS of $0.81 was in line with the market expectations.

By segment, cloud services and license support revenues grew 3% to $6.81 billion. Cloud licenses and on-premise license revenues fell 6% annually to $812 million, missing analysts’ expectations of $865 million. Hardware revenues fell 10% to $815 million and the services segment revenues fell 3% to $786 million for the quarter.

Oracle’s total cloud and license revenues grew 2% over the year to $7.62 billion. Applications revenues were up 2% to $2.82 billion and infrastructure related revenues grew 2% to $4.8 billion.

The board authorized a $15 billion stock repurchase and also announced a payment of a quarterly dividend of $0.24 per share.

For the second quarter, Oracle expects to report an EPS of $0.87–$0.89, compared with the market’s forecast of $0.89.

Oracle Counts on Autonomous Database

Oracle continued to go head on with Amazon yet again by boasting about its ML-backed Autonomous Database. Earlier last month, there was a hack attack on Capital One that runs on AWS. The attack, which impacted 106 million users, was primarily a result of a configuration issue. Oracle believes that the Autonomous Database is a “game changer” and is above these errors. It minimizes human intervention and does not allow them to configure the system. Instead, the system configures itself automatically, patches itself while running, backs up data on its own when needed, and encrypts the user’s data automatically.

Oracle is seeing some traction in its customers for this offering. During the quarter, it added more than 3,700 new Autonomous Database trials and now has over 2,000 paying customers for the Database. The Autonomous Database is also acting as an upsell opportunity for Oracle. 45% of the customers using the Database are also using the Oracle Analytics Cloud.

With reference to SAP, Oracle believes that it has an enormous installed base of existing ERP and HCM customers, who can upgrade to the cloud. It plans to leverage the Fusion SaaS apps to dethrone SAP from its leading spot in the global ERP market. According to Oracle it is in talks with a lot of large corporations to shift their ERP systems onto SAP. If Oracle were able to convert a few of those deals, others would most likely follow. Oracle is confident that it will succeed in that attempt.

Both Amazon and SAP did not comment on Oracle’s attacks.

Oracle’s Management Change

Oracle also announced that its co-CEO Mark Hurd was taking an indefinite leave of absence. Mark had joined Oracle in 2010 and moved to the position of the co-CEO in 2014 when founder Larry Ellison stepped down to become CTO. He was working with former CFO Safra Catz in the position. During their tenure, Oracle’s stock had registered a 45% growth. During his absence, Larry Ellison will help cover his responsibilities along with the current co-CEO Safra Catz.

Its stock is currently trading at $53.75 with a market capitalization of $179.3 billion. It touched a 52-week high of $60.50 earlier this July. It hit a 52-week low of $42.40 in December last year.

Photo credit: Joey Rozier/Flickr.com.

This segment is a part in the series : Cloud Stocks


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