Oracle Corp. (NYSE: ORCL) is set to release its fiscal first-quarter financial results on this coming Thursday. The consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters call for $0.58 in earnings per share (EPS) on $8.7 billion in revenue. The same period from the previous year reportedly had EPS of $0.53 and revenue of $8.45 billion.
With shares trading at just under 15 times estimated 2017 earnings, and with a solid free cash flow yield, many analysts also feel that Oracle’s 12C database cycle starts to contribute during calendar 2016, and the stock could very well be poised for what they term a breakout year. Some analysts have raised fiscal year 2017 cloud margins to 66% from 63% and EPS to $2.80. Some also believe that the software giant may be on the verge of a multiyear database product cycle.
Oracle stands to benefit from several drivers into the coming fiscal year. These include the potential for further improvements in sales force productivity; adoption of the In-Memory option of Oracle Database; increasing customer adoption of Oracle’s cloud applications (including Fusion Applications) and Platform-as-a-Service offerings; and the market opportunity for Engineered Systems.
Merrill Lynch previously commented on Oracle’s fourth quarter, saying that it delivered on several fronts, including cloud revenue acceleration. Merrill Lynch’s thesis is that cloud economics could trump the negative impact from increased competition Oracle faces across the board.
Prior to the release of the earnings report, these analysts weighed in on the stock:
- Jefferies reiterated a $51 price target.
- BTIG Research reiterated a Buy rating with a $47 price target.
- Credit Agricole reiterated an Underperform rating.
- Rosenblatt Securities initiated coverage with a Buy rating and a $48 price target.
- D.A. Davidson initiated coverage with a Buy rating.
- MKM reiterated a Neutral rating with a $42 price target.
- Goldman Sachs upgraded it to Neutral from Sell.
- Atlantic Securities has a Neutral rating and a $44 price target.
- Macquarie reiterated an Outperform rating.
- Sanford Bernstein reiterated an Outperform rating with a $51 price target.
- BMO Capital Markets has an Outperform rating with a $47 price target.
- JPMorgan has a Neutral rating with a $38 price target.
So far in 2016, Oracle has outperformed the broad markets, with the stock up nearly 13%. Over the past 52 weeks, the stock is up about 11.5%.
Shares of Oracle were trading at $40.03 on Friday’s close, with a consensus analyst price target of $44.29 and a 52-week trading range of $33.13 to $42.00.