Oracle in hot water with Wall Street

The cocaine nose jobs of Wall Street are furious that Oracle did not do as well as they thought.

In its latest third quarter results, Oracle produced revenue and profit which were not bad but failed to satisfy investors looking for signs of a sustained turnaround and its shares fell about four percent.

Shareholders had thought that Oracle’s last quarterly results were good and expected this quarter. There are also fears that the company is suffering from slow IT spending and growing competition.

Chief Financial Officer Safra Catz forecast fourth-quarter revenue growth of between three percent and seven percent in constant dollars, equivalent to between $11.3 billion and $11.7 billion. Wall Street had expected $11.5 billion.

Catz told analysts on a conference call that she expected current quarter earnings of 92 cents to 99 cents per share, versus analysts’ consensus estimate of about 96 cents. New software and sales and subscriptions should grow between zero and 10 percent, she said.

New software sales and Internet-based software subscriptions in its fiscal third quarter ended February 28 rose four percent from the year-ago period.

Oracle had forecast that new software sales and subscriptions would be up between two percent and 12 percent in the current quarter. New software sales are scrutinized by investors because they generate high-margin, long-term maintenance contracts and are an important indicator of future profit.

Revenue from Oracle’s hardware systems products grew eight percent to $725 million, the first increase since the software company’s $5.6 billion purchase of Sun in 2010.

This is a good indication that the hardware business is on the mend, but bad given that most of Oracle’s cash comes from software business.

Oracle has been rolling out its own cloud-based products and acquiring smaller cloud companies like marketing software maker Responsys but the thought is that they moved into this a little late.

President Mark Hurd said Oracle is getting better at selling cloud services, thanks partly to a reorganisation of the company’s salesforce last year

Catz said revenue from cloud software subscriptions was up by about 24 percent in the quarter to $292 million, equivalent to about three percent of Oracle’s total revenue.

Overall revenue rose 4 percent to $9.31 billion. That was a little below the $9.36 billion analysts had expected on average. Net income was $2.56 billion, up two percent.