Why Oracle Shares Are Getting Slammed After Earnings

March 20, 2018 by Paul Ausick

Oracle Corp. (NYSE: ORCL) reported fiscal third-quarter 2018 results after markets closed Monday. The enterprise software company posted adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.83 on revenue of $9.77 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported adjusted EPS of $0.69 on revenue of $9.27 billion. Third-quarter results also compare to consensus estimates for EPS of $0.72 and $9.78 billion in revenue.

Growth in the company’s cloud services met the company’s projections, but investors were hoping for more following strong results at competitors Microsoft and Salesforce.com.

Adjusted operating income totaled $4.3 billion and adjusted operating margin came in at 44%. Non-GAAP net income totaled $3.5 billion.

Short-term deferred revenues totaled $8 billion, up 8% year over year. Operating cash flow on a trailing 12-month basis was $15.2 billion, up 13% from the prior year.

GAAP net loss was $4 billion and GAAP loss per share was $0.98 due to a one-time net charge totaling $6.9 billion related to the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

CEO Saftra Katz said:

During FY17, I forecast double-digit non-GAAP earnings per share growth for FY18. With non-GAAP earnings per share up 20% in Q3, our year-to-date earnings per share growth is now up to 16%. At this point, I feel quite confident that we will comfortably deliver on my original forecast of double-digit non-GAAP earnings per share growth for FY18.

CEO Mark Hurd added:

Our Cloud SaaS applications business is rapidly approaching $5 billion …and it’s still early days. Less than 15% of our on-premise applications customers have begun to migrate their applications to the cloud. As the other 85% of our applications customers start to move their applications to the Cloud, we have a huge opportunity in front of us. We expect to more than double the size of our SaaS business very quickly.

On top of the less-than-hoped for cloud revenues, Oracle said on its conference call that cloud revenues would rise in the range of 19% to 23%. Analysts were expecting an increase of 23%.

For the company’s fiscal fourth quarter, analysts are looking for adjusted EPS of $0.90 and revenues of $11.21 billion. In the same period last year, Oracle posted EPS of $0.69 and revenues of $10.94 billion.

Shares were pummeled in premarket trading Tuesday, down about 8.6%, at $47.50 in a 52-week range of $43.60 to $53.48. The consensus price target on the stock prior to last night’s earnings report was $56.14.

I'm interested in the Newsletter