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10 Diversified Stocks to Buy Ahead of Earnings

7. Oracle (ORCL - Get Report) makes business software. The company will announce second-quarter fiscal 2012 results on Dec. 20.

Net income for the quarter is estimated at $2.93 billion, or 57 cents per share, as compared to net income of $2.63 billion, or 51 cents per share, in the corresponding quarter prior fiscal, according to analysts polled by Bloomberg. Sales are seen at $9.23 billion, up 7% from $8.65 billion recorded in the earlier year's third quarter. Currently, the company has a dividend yield of 0.8%.

Operating profit for the quarter is pegged at $4.17 billion, an increase of 39% from $3.01 billion in same quarter last fiscal. Return on equity is seen expanding to 27.25% from 21.87%, while return on assets is seen at 16% from 11.19% earlier. Also, gross margin is seen increasing to 77.44% from 74.87% earlier.

Of the 44 analysts covering the stock, 82% recommend a buy, while 16% suggest a hold. Analysts polled by Bloomberg expect the stock to gain an average 25.4% to $36.41 from current levels over the next 12 months.
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