Oracle (ORCL) Downgraded to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report published on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Oracle is one of the largest enterprise-grade database, middleware and application software providers. Notably, stiff competition in the cloud market from dominant players is anticipated to limit margin expansion. Further, lower hardware volumes are anticipated to hurt top-line growth consequently keeping margins under pressure. Additionally, integration risks from buyouts remain a concern. Shares of Oracle have underperformed the industry in the past year. Nonetheless, the company is benefiting from strong adoption of its cloud-based solutions, comprising Fusion ERP and Fusion HCM, among others. We note that partnerships with the likes of Accenture are helping the company rapidly expand its cloud-base clientele. Also, anticipated strong demand for the next-generation autonomous database supported by machine learning will boost competitive position against Amazon Web Services (AWS).”

A number of other equities analysts have also recently commented on the company. Nomura reissued a reduce rating and set a $42.00 target price (down previously from $53.00) on shares of Oracle in a report on Monday. Credit Suisse Group set a $60.00 target price on Oracle and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Monday. Standpoint Research cut Oracle from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, February 19th. Goldman Sachs Group reissued a buy rating and set a $55.00 target price on shares of Oracle in a report on Thursday, February 14th. Finally, Morgan Stanley cut Oracle from an overweight rating to an equal weight rating and reduced their target price for the company from $57.00 to $53.00 in a report on Tuesday, January 15th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have assigned a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $52.12.

NYSE ORCL opened at $53.05 on Tuesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $218.57 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.81, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.75 and a beta of 1.08. Oracle has a twelve month low of $42.40 and a twelve month high of $53.47. The company has a quick ratio of 2.80, a current ratio of 2.80 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.66.

Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, March 14th. The enterprise software provider reported $0.87 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.84 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $9.62 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.59 billion. Oracle had a return on equity of 29.93% and a net margin of 10.01%. Oracle’s quarterly revenue was down .7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.83 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts expect that Oracle will post 3.07 EPS for the current year.

In other news, EVP Dorian Daley sold 25,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.00, for a total value of $1,125,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 102,919 shares in the company, valued at $4,631,355. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Hector Garcia-Molina sold 3,750 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $46.42, for a total value of $174,075.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 27,969 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,298,320.98. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 42,552 shares of company stock valued at $1,945,486 over the last 90 days. Company insiders own 32.00% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Godshalk Welsh Capital Management Inc. grew its position in Oracle by 6.1% in the third quarter. Godshalk Welsh Capital Management Inc. now owns 31,400 shares of the enterprise software provider’s stock worth $1,619,000 after acquiring an additional 1,800 shares during the period. Wealthquest Corp purchased a new position in Oracle in the fourth quarter worth approximately $202,000. Trust Co. of Vermont grew its position in Oracle by 10.9% in the fourth quarter. Trust Co. of Vermont now owns 54,368 shares of the enterprise software provider’s stock worth $2,455,000 after acquiring an additional 5,341 shares during the period. CHURCHILL MANAGEMENT Corp grew its position in Oracle by 27.3% in the fourth quarter. CHURCHILL MANAGEMENT Corp now owns 108,209 shares of the enterprise software provider’s stock worth $4,886,000 after acquiring an additional 23,235 shares during the period. Finally, Farmers Trust Co. grew its position in Oracle by 2.2% in the fourth quarter. Farmers Trust Co. now owns 21,183 shares of the enterprise software provider’s stock worth $957,000 after acquiring an additional 455 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 46.80% of the company’s stock.

About Oracle

Oracle Corporation develops, manufactures, markets, sells, hosts, and supports application, platform, and infrastructure solutions for information technology (IT) environments worldwide. The company provides services in three primary layers of the cloud: Software as a Service, Platform as a Service, and Infrastructure as a Service.

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