Oracle Stock Hits New High On Earnings, Analysts Raise Targets

Oracle reported better-than-expected earnings and sales as cloud revenue surged 62% to $1.2 billion

Shares of Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) opened at 43.05 on Tuesday. Hotchkis & Wiley Capital Management LLC boosted its position in Oracle by 18.7% in the fourth quarter.

"Given inconsistent performance, we believe that Oracle's quarter and guidance, while not spectacular, is enough to push the shares higher", Bachman wrote in a research note. The average stock price target is $43.91 with 7 brokers rating the stock a strong buy, 15 brokers rating the stock a buy, 14 brokers rating the stock a hold, four analysts rating the company a underperform, and lastly one analyst rating the company a sell.

While that appears to be an impressive growth spurt in a relatively short time, that still leaves Oracle way behind Amazon's cloud business, which reported $3.6 billion in quarterly sales, a 47 percent jump in growth compared with a year ago. Sii Investments Inc. WI now owns 100,053 shares of the enterprise software provider's stock valued at $3,852,000 after buying an additional 372 shares in the last quarter.

Canaccord Genuity analyst Richard Davis raised his price target on Oracle to 49 from 45 and maintained a buy rating. When that happens, earnings per share will "ramp up throughout the year" and Oracle will return to the same pattern of growth it delivered the previous decade during the license business heyday, she said. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.64 EPS. The current consensus recommendation provided by covering analysts is 2.20. As Oracle lifted its quarterly cash dividend by 27% to 19 cents a share, Bracelin suggested it was a reward for investors who have held on through the rocky transition. This represents a $0.76 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.77%.

The company noted that they are raising their dividend to $0.19 from $0.15. Oracle's dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 28.99%. If you are viewing this story on another website, it was illegally copied and reposted in violation of US & global copyright & trademark laws. The legal version of this piece can be accessed at https://www.com-unik.info/2017/03/16/oracle-co-orcl-stake-increased-by-iberiabank-corp.html.

In other news, Director Naomi O. Seligman sold 45,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, December 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $38.72, for a total transaction of $1,742,400.00. The stock was sold at an average price of $39.09, for a total transaction of $146,587.50. Insiders have sold 52,500 shares of company stock valued at $2,042,550 over the last ninety days.

Ellison seems to be making two separate arguments: that Oracle databases should be run on Oracle Cloud, instead of AWS; and that Oracle Cloud can provide better computing infrastructure than AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform, even for workloads that are not specific to an Oracle database. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 57.95% of the company's stock. Its cloud and on-premise software business consists of three segments, including cloud software and on-premise software, which includes Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings, cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and software license updates and product support.

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