Oracle Corp. (NYSE:ORCL) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Oracle's first-quarter 2017 results failed to impress us. Although cloud revenue growth was strong, weak on-premise software revenues dragged down the results. Oracle is in the middle of a business transition from licensing to cloud which will be accretive to long term growth. However, it is a drag on the financials at present. Adding to that, Oracle seems to have hit a bad patch as far as litigation is concerned. Earlier this year, it lost a JAVA APIs lawsuit against Alphabet’s Google and another Itanium software lawsuit against HPE. Nevertheless, the ongoing momentum at SaaS and PaaS provides signficant growth opportunity. The introduction of Generation2 IaaS data centers are expected to improve Oracle’s competitive prowess against Amazon Web Services and will drive market share going ahead.”

ORCL has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Atlantic Securities lowered Oracle Corp. from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and reduced their target price for the company from $48.00 to $44.00 in a report on Tuesday, July 19th. Macquarie restated an “outperform” rating on shares of Oracle Corp. in a report on Tuesday, July 19th. Vetr lowered Oracle Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $41.24 target price for the company. in a report on Monday, August 15th. BTIG Research restated a “buy” rating and issued a $47.00 target price on shares of Oracle Corp. in a report on Monday, August 22nd. Finally, Jefferies Group restated a “positive” rating and issued a $51.00 target price on shares of Oracle Corp. in a report on Monday, August 29th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have given a hold rating and twenty-five have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $45.25.

Analyst Recommendations for Oracle Corp. (NYSE:ORCL)

Shares of Oracle Corp. (NYSE:ORCL) opened at 39.17 on Wednesday. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $38.66 and a 200 day moving average price of $39.88. The stock has a market cap of $160.82 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.61 and a beta of 1.19. Oracle Corp. has a 12 month low of $33.13 and a 12 month high of $42.00.

Oracle Corp. (NYSE:ORCL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, September 15th. The enterprise software provider reported $0.55 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.58 by $0.03. Oracle Corp. had a net margin of 24.16% and a return on equity of 22.10%. The company had revenue of $8.60 billion for the quarter. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.53 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 1.9% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts anticipate that Oracle Corp. will post $2.63 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, October 26th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, October 12th were paid a $0.15 dividend. This represents a $0.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.53%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, October 7th. Oracle Corp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 28.57%.

In other Oracle Corp. news, Director Hector Garcia-Molina sold 3,750 shares of Oracle Corp. stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $38.42, for a total value of $144,075.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 8,281 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $318,156.02. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Dorian Daley sold 16,065 shares of Oracle Corp. stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $39.61, for a total transaction of $636,334.65. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 25,000 shares in the company, valued at approximately $990,250. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 29.00% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Camarda Financial Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of Oracle Corp. by 9.6% in the second quarter. Camarda Financial Advisors LLC now owns 2,443 shares of the enterprise software provider’s stock valued at $100,000 after buying an additional 215 shares in the last quarter. Cribstone Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Oracle Corp. during the second quarter valued at approximately $102,000. WESPAC Advisors SoCal LLC raised its stake in shares of Oracle Corp. by 20.8% in the second quarter. WESPAC Advisors SoCal LLC now owns 2,900 shares of the enterprise software provider’s stock valued at $119,000 after buying an additional 500 shares in the last quarter. FCM Investments TX raised its stake in shares of Oracle Corp. by 20.0% in the second quarter. FCM Investments TX now owns 3,000 shares of the enterprise software provider’s stock valued at $123,000 after buying an additional 500 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Proficio Capital Partners LLC raised its stake in shares of Oracle Corp. by 46.9% in the second quarter. Proficio Capital Partners LLC now owns 3,016 shares of the enterprise software provider’s stock valued at $124,000 after buying an additional 963 shares in the last quarter. 57.97% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Oracle Corp.

Oracle Corporation (Oracle) provides products and services that address all aspects of corporate information technology (IT) environments, including application, platform and infrastructure. The Company’s businesses include cloud and on-premise software, hardware and services. Its cloud and on-premise software business consists of three segments, including cloud software and on-premise software, which includes Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings, cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and software license updates and product support.

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