Oracle on Thursday will deliver its fourth quarter results and analysts seem to be betting that sales of the Exadata data warehousing appliance as well as database upgrades will offset any problems with Europe and currency fluctuations.
The company is expected to report fourth quarter earnings of 54 cents a share on sales of $9.5 billion. The big worry is about an economic slowdown in Europe and the decline of the euro vs. the U.S. dollar. Caris & Co. says it's possible that Oracle could miss estimates solely based on mid-quarter currency fluctuations.
However, analysts are reporting that Oracle's fourth quarter finished strong.
Jefferies analyst Ross MacMillan reports:
We believe core database has enjoyed strength driven by server growth and 11g R2 upgrades, while the applications business will likely show better growth off much easier comps. Our work on the Exadata appliance has also been particularly positive.
MacMillan added that Oracle is making the right moves with Sun. Oracle is taking Sun's sales direct, cutting back on third party sales and increasing hardware support prices. Toss in layoffs in Europe and Asia and Sun may be profitable after all in the future.
Analysts also say that the focus is likely to turn to upcoming product upgrades, notably Oracle's Fusion applications, which are supposed to integrate various acquired software parts.
Piper Jaffray analyst Mark Murphy recently surveyed 43 Oracle partners. Here's what he found:
- 67 percent of partners say they saw better large deal demand with 16 percent seeing worse demand relative to a year ago.
- 79 percent of Oracle partners say that the pace of business is better in the past three months.
- Middleware and database are seeing healthy demand along with the Exadata machines.
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