Oracle Misses Sales Estimates Again, Shares Plunge

Joe Goldman |

OracleOracle’s (ORCL) sales numbers fell short of Wall Street’s expectations on Friday, as the company cited economic weakness in Asia and Latin America for tepid sales growth. Oracle met earnings expectations of $0.87, but reported $10.95 billion in sales while analysts were looking for $11.12 billion.

This marks the second consecutive quarter Oracle has disappointed investors, who are understandably growing impatient with Oracle’s slowing sales and inability to execute financially. However, CEO Larry Ellison says Oracle has not lost its edge.

“It was clearly an economic issue, not a product, competitive issue,” he said.

Yet, some investors fear that Oracle is starting to fall behind competitively.  Many younger, more aggressive rivals such as Salesforce.com (CRM) offer excellent software at competitive prices through the cloud.  They also have solid sales growth despite the sluggish economic, which is why Oracle investors weren’t satisfied with the economy as an excuse for poor numbers.

The silver lining in the report was that Oracle is doubling its quarterly dividend payment to 12 cents per share, which brought the stock’s yields up to around 1.6 percent.  The company also reported guidance that was in-line with estimates.                                                                                                            

Oracle also announced on Thursday that the company is moving its share-listing from the Nasdaq to the New York Stock Exchange.  The company didn’t elaborate very much on the issue, other than saying the switch is in the shareholders’ best interest.

Shares traded down 8.15 percent to $30.50 on Friday, its lowest level since November. Oracle has been one of the worst performers in the software space, as shares are down over 16 percent since March 15.

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