Oracle will also continue to reinvest some of this money in the future growth of its business and the company has demonstrated an above-average ability to execute successful acquisitions. Though there have been missteps, more often than not the company has maintained discipline and focus in its acquisition strategy. I expect its acquisition strategy to continue to be a net positive for shareholders going forward.
Finally, the recent announcements of partnerships with Salesforce.com, Microsoft and NetSuite (N) provide some hope that outright competition in this space may give way to more co-opetition. I don't think any of these partnerships are true game changers for Oracle, but I do think they signal the initiation of a new phase in the dynamics of this market.
So, what is the bottom line? I think current owners of Oracle stock that have endured a rocky first half of the year will do well to stay the course. For those without a position in stock, I think Oracle is particularly interesting at current levels. If the company can steady its business execution, continue its shareholder-friendly cash deployment, and maintain discipline and prudence in its acquisition strategy then I will remain constructive on Oracle stock. If any of these elements dissipate then my interest in owning the stock will quickly fade.
--Written by Craig Gentry, chief investment strategist at Destination Wealth Management.The author has no personal ownership or investment banking relationships.