The Cloud

Oracle Shares Slip as Q4 Sales Drop 6%

The software giant saw a drop-off in deals, particularly in industries most affected by COVID-19 such as hospitality and retail.
Matthew HellerJune 17, 2020

Oracle posted lower-than-expected quarterly revenue as customers in such industries as hospitality and retail deferred purchases due to the coronavirus pandemic.

For the fourth quarter, Oracle’s total revenue fell 6% to $10.44 billion, missing its guidance in March for between $10.92 billion and $11.36 billion and analysts’ estimates of $10.61 billion.

Sales of Oracle’s cloud-based enterprise resource planning software were particularly strong, with Fusion and NetSuite growing 32% and 27%, respectively.

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Adjusted earnings were $1.20 per share versus Wall Street’s forecast of $1.15 per share.

“Our overall business did remarkably well considering the pandemic, but our results would have been even better except for customers in the hardest-hit industries that we serve such as hospitality, retail, and transportation postponing some of their purchases,” Oracle CEO Safra Catz said in a news release.

She told analysts there was a drop-off in deals as the quarter progressed but “As countries begin reopening their economies, many of these discussions have already resumed.”

“Since these were not lost to competitors, we believe that most of this business will ultimately be booked, and while some customers have deferred projects, we’re also rapidly building new pipelines with customers that are moving their on-premise workloads to the cloud,” Catz added.

But on news of the results, Oracle shares slipped 3.3% to $52.80 in extended trading Tuesday. “4Q20 was expected to be a strong quarter, due to [a] seasonally high mix of license revenue benefiting from autonomous database sales,” Bernstein Research’s Mark Moerdler and Firoz Valliji said in a client note.

“We are now more concerned about the license revenue, as transactional revenue is much more seriously impacted by economic disruption especially near-term as IT organizations have focused on work-from-home rather than major projects,” they wrote.

Among Oracle’s segments, revenue from cloud services and license support rose 1% to $6.85 billion while revenue from cloud and on-premises licenses fell 22% to $1.96 billion. Analysts had expected $6.90 billion and $2.14 billion, respectively.

Oracle now has more than 7,100 Fusion customers and nearly 22,000 Netsuite customers, making it the biggest cloud ERP player.

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