Oracle Outlook, Stock Price On Upswing? - InformationWeek

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IT Leadership // CIO Insights & Innovation
Commentary
12/16/2009
10:56 AM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
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Oracle Outlook, Stock Price On Upswing?

As it prepares to release second-quarter results tomorrow, Oracle could be showing signs of improvement: EU approval for the Sun deal seems to be close, it's digesting $300 million in restructuring costs, and one influential analyst sees potential pipeline optimism due to "thawing in both database and middleware spending."

As it prepares to release second-quarter results tomorrow, Oracle could be showing signs of improvement: EU approval for the Sun deal seems to be close, it's digesting $300 million in restructuring costs, and one influential analyst sees potential pipeline optimism due to "thawing in both database and middleware spending."Oracle's stock price could certainly get a lift if the EU finally approves the company's acquisition of Sun, and recent developments involving (a) very positive endorsements of the deal from Oracle customers and (b) Oracle's 10 comprehensive commitments to MySQL's ongoing openness and accessibility should satisfy even the Eurocrats.

On top of that, there's an unmistakable sense among CIOs that their companies are hell-bent on leaving the survival mode of 2009 behind and looking instead for growth in 2010. Since many companies shut down all IT spending back in late or even mid-2008, that could mean some significant purchases of Oracle's core enterprise-software products.

Goldman Sachs analyst Sarah Friar pushed her target price for Oracle stock to $27, according to TechTraderDaily:

"Our checks suggest an ongoing thawing in both database and middleware spending," with the company likely to provide "positive commentary on the pipeline into 2010." She also thinks a positive resolution on the company's dispute with the EU over the proposed Sun Microsystems acquisition "could pave the way for estimate revisions."

And another analyst also sees some potential signs of growth for parts of Oracle's business, according to a Wall Street Journal article:

JMP Securities analyst Patrick Walravens told clients in a research note published recently that he's found "some indication that the strategic business [at Oracle] is coming back to life."

Sluggishness remains in the applications sector, for which Oracle expects revenue to be somewhere between flat and off by 10%. Offsetting that, Oracle's huge installed base of customers provides it with an enormous stream of maintenance revenue that has had profit margins in the range of 90%, as outlined in our recent column called Global CIO: Where Do Oracle's Profits Come From?.

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