Weak earnings see Oracle shares drop

<p>Shares in Oracle fell in after-hours trading in the US.</p>

The share price of Oracle fell in after-hours trading in the US last night (March 18th) after the company released its latest financial forecast.

It was revealed by the firm that its revenues were $9.3 billion (£5.2 billion) for the third quarter, which were weaker than had been expected by analysts.

This led to stocks in the business slipping by five per cent in after-hours trading as investors responded negatively to the financial results.

The analysts' forecast had been $9.36 billion and the profits announced by the company were also lower – at $2.56 billion – than had been predicted by specialists ahead of the release.

"Sales of Oracle's Cloud Applications accelerated sharply in the quarter with bookings growth of over 60 per cent," said Oracle president Mark Hurd in a statement.

"Our quarterly Cloud Application revenue is now approaching $300 million. All of our strategic Cloud Application Suites, including Fusion Enterprise Resource Planning, Fusion Human Capital Management and Fusion Customer Experience, posted triple-digit revenue growth."

Cloud computing growth

The computing firm's relevance has slipped in recent years as a result of new trends such as the cloud, with other companies leaping ahead of Oracle to make the most of the technology. But Oracle is now playing catch-up and has seen an explosion in the use of its cloud services.

Oracle's traditionally focused on licensing and servicing software installed locally on individual computers, but the cloud has been increasingly offering businesses a more affordable and flexible solution to their software needs.

However, some companies have been holding back from making an investment in the cloud due to security concerns, although research has shown those firms signing up to the cloud have typically not had any cybersecurity issues as a result.

Chief executive at Oracle Larry Ellison stated that the company's Engineered Server Systems, including Exadata and SPARC SuperClusters, recorded over a 30 per cent constant currency growth rate in the quarter.

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