Oracle Corp. reports earnings for the fiscal second quarter on Wednesday, Dec. 19. The following is a summary of key developments and analyst opinion related to the period.
OVERVIEW: Oracle, which makes a wide range of business software, including data storage and supply chain management, had a very strong fiscal 2008 first quarter. The Redwood Shores, Calif.-based company earned $840 million, up 25 percent year over year.
Oracle's market value has climbed by about $40 billion, or more than 50 percent, since it began buying its rivals in 2004.
During the current quarter, the company slowed down its three-year buying spree of smaller companies.
Oracle withdrew its $6.7 billion bid for business software company BEA Systems Inc. after that company sought a higher offer.
Meanwhile, Oracle's chief rival, business software company SAP A.G, has had a tough quarter. Its stock has fallen more than 10 percent since it purchased French business intelligence company Business Objects for $6.8 billion in October. It also had a lackluster business performance this year.
BY THE NUMBERS: Analysts, on average, are expecting earnings of 27 cents a share on revenue of $5.04 billion
ANALYST TAKE: CIBC World Markets analyst Brad Reback said Oracle's quarterly results should be in line with market estimates.
Goldman Sachs analyst Sarah Friar said that the company has "tremendous cross-selling opportunities" and recurring software maintenance revenue.
WHAT'S AHEAD: Morgan Stanley analyst Peter C. Kuper said Oracle's stock is his top pick for 2008 as the company is geographically diversified and is more recession-resistant than many software companies.
CIBC World Markets analyst Brad Reback said he remained confident in the company's ability to post double-digit growth in revenue and earnings per share in the coming years.
STOCK PERFORMANCE: The company's stock fell less than 1 percent during the quarter. For the year to date, the stock is up 22 percent.