Oracle Corp. (NASDAQ: ORCL) was supposed to have big news out around its earnings. We will cover the earnings of course, but the corporate governance issues are going to dwarf the earnings news here. Oracle decided to give a huge dividend boost, announce a large buyback, and a listing change.
Oracle reported that its comparable earnings were up 5% to $0.87 per share as revenue was flat at about $11 billion. Thomson Reuters had estimates at $0.87 EPS and $11.12 billion in revenue. The company claims that without an impact from currency earnings would have been a penny per share higher.
Oracle’s HCM Cloud, CRM Cloud and ERP Cloud grew 50% as we added over 500 new SaaS customers in Q4 alone. Exadata, Exalogic, Exalytics, SPARC SuperCluster and our other engineered systems grew at a rate of 45% in the fourth quarter.
Dividend lovers pay attention here. Just this week we wrote that Oracle was one of five companies that could (and should) double its dividend. The company delivered by lifting the dividend to $0.12 per share from $0.06 per share.
Another big corporate governance issue came out as well in the form of authorizing the repurchase of up to an additional $12.0 billion of common stock under its existing share repurchase program in future quarters. This represents nearly 8% of the shares outstanding as Oracle’s market cap was worth about $156 billion as of the close.
Lastly came a vanity move over its exchange listing, which will have an impact on the weighting of the PowerShares QQQ (NASDAQ: QQQ). Oracle announced that it has applied to list its common stock on the New York Stock Exchange under its current symbol “ORCL” as it will move away from its NASDAQ market listing that it has always had.
Oracle shares are down over 5% at $31.20 in the after-hours trading session. Despite having been off of its highs considerably, Oracle has run into issues meeting its quarterly earnings estimates and the bar was not magically set lower by Wall Street analysts just so that the company could beat estimates.