Could cloud be the silver lining to Oracle’s share slump?

US computing giant sees five percent fall in share price after disappointing earnings announcement, but could the company’s cloud operations help it turn things around?


One of the most dominant computing companies for the last 30 years, Oracle’s recent difficulties continued with news that its earnings and revenues were worse than expected.

The company reported revenues of $9.3bn for the third quarter of last year, up four percent on the previous year’s figure, but short of analysts’ predictions of $93.7bn. Net profits were also below expectations, falling to $2.56bn. Shortly after the news, Oracle’s share price slumped by five percent in after-hours trading.

The database management and enterprise software specialist has struggled to keep up with many upstart new Silicon Valley firms in recent years, despite it underpinning many corporate IT departments’ operations.

Oracle has slowly been catching up, investing heavily in a number of cloud based services

Oracle has a rich history dating back to 1977, and has grown to become one of the leading technology companies in the world, with total assets of $81.8bn last year.

In an earnings call to analysts, CEO and founder Larry Ellison said that the company was experiencing a challenging period as a result of many new competitors. “We have a new set of competitors, and we need a specialist sales team that’s used to competing with Amazon. We’re lining up against all our new competitors and making sure we have sales capacity as well as a new set of products.”

However, the company did highlight the success of its new cloud operations. Many of its rivals, such as Amazon, have seen a lot of success from offering similar storage and database services to Oracle’s, but based entirely in the cloud. Oracle has slowly been catching up, investing heavily in a number of cloud based services.

President and CFO Safra Catz said in a statement that cloud subscriptions had grown significantly in recent months. “In constant currency, our Cloud Software Subscriptions revenues grew 25 percent and our Engineered Systems revenue grew more than 30 percent in the quarter.

“Oracle Cloud Applications and Engineered Systems are both rapidly growing, billion dollar run-rate businesses. Those two high-growth businesses helped us deliver record year-to-date operating cash flow, and a record $15bn of operating cash flow over the past twelve months.”