Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Oracle (ORCL) to Buy

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Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports. The firm currently has a $61.00 price objective on the enterprise software provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target suggests a potential upside of 11.72% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Oracle is benefiting from strong adoption of its cloud-based solutions, comprising NetSuite, 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). Nonetheless, 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. Notably, shares of Oracle have underperformed the industry in the past one year.”

A number of other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on ORCL. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group upped their target price on Oracle from $55.00 to $56.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, March 15th. Morgan Stanley cut Oracle from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and lowered their target price for the stock from $57.00 to $53.00 in a report on Tuesday, January 15th. BNP Paribas began coverage on Oracle in a report on Friday, March 29th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $50.00 target price for the company. Goldman Sachs Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $55.00 target price on shares of Oracle in a report on Thursday, February 14th. Finally, Standpoint Research cut Oracle from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, February 19th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have issued a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $52.87.

Shares of ORCL stock traded up $0.47 on Wednesday, hitting $54.60. 3,662,537 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 8,712,035. The company has a quick ratio of 2.65, a current ratio of 2.65 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.13. Oracle has a 12 month low of $42.40 and a 12 month high of $55.53. The company has a market cap of $221.18 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.36, a P/E/G ratio of 1.77 and a beta of 1.08.

Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, March 14th. The enterprise software provider reported $0.78 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.76 by $0.02. Oracle had a return on equity of 34.03% and a net margin of 27.14%. The business had revenue of $9.62 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.59 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.83 EPS. Oracle’s revenue for the quarter was down .7% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that Oracle will post 3.08 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Hector Garcia-Molina sold 3,750 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.51, for a total value of $193,162.50. Following the transaction, the director now owns 27,969 shares in the company, valued at $1,440,683.19. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Jeffrey Henley sold 400,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.03, for a total value of $21,612,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 400,000 shares in the company, valued at approximately $21,612,000. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 2,473,750 shares of company stock worth $133,872,063. Corporate insiders own 32.00% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Massey Quick Simon & CO. LLC increased its position in Oracle by 220.9% in the fourth quarter. Massey Quick Simon & CO. LLC now owns 600 shares of the enterprise software provider’s stock worth $27,000 after buying an additional 413 shares during the last quarter. GWM Advisors LLC increased its position in Oracle by 56.9% in the first quarter. GWM Advisors LLC now owns 42,213 shares of the enterprise software provider’s stock worth $27,000 after buying an additional 15,316 shares during the last quarter. Advisory Alpha LLC purchased a new stake in Oracle in the first quarter worth $29,000. Investors Research Corp purchased a new stake in Oracle in the first quarter worth $30,000. Finally, Riverview Trust Co purchased a new stake in Oracle in the fourth quarter worth $35,000. Institutional investors own 47.10% 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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