Oracle Corp (ORCL - Get Report) shares turned slightly lower Tuesday after the cloud computing group posted stronger-than-expected quarterly earnings and surprised investors with a bullish global outlook.

Oracle said non-GAAP earnings for the three months ending in November, the company's fiscal second quarter, came in at 80 cents a share, firmly ahead of the Street forecast of 78 cents and rising 16% from the same period last year. Group sales, Oracle said, were pegged at $9.62 billion, again topping analysts' forecasts, while cloud revenues rose 2.7% to $6.64 billion and gross margins for cloud services and license support hit 86%.

"As we continue to scale and grow our cloud business, I expect our gross margins will ultimately go higher," CEO Safra Catz told investors on a conference call late Monday. " I continue to expect that second half revenue growth will be higher and we remain committed to delivering a higher constant currency growth rate for all of fiscal 2019 when compared to last fiscal year."

Oracle shares declined 0.14% to $45.67 at midday Tuesday.

The company also said it sees current quarter earnings of between 86 cents and 88 cents a share, topping the 84 cent Street forecasts, and said it expects full year revenue growth of around 3% on a constant currency basis. 
 
We think Oracle delivered impressive top-line results and guidance against low expectations," said BMO Capital Markets Keith Bachman. "We think the top-line guide, including the likelihood of achieving 3% (constant currency revenue) growth in FY19, combined with aggressive share buybacks will support the shares." 
 
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