Will six straight quarters of year-over-year shrinking earnings and revenue be the end of the bad news for Oracle ( ORCL)? Doesn't look like it. When the world's second-largest software maker reports earnings Wednesday for the quarter ended Nov. 30, investors likely will learn that Oracle has met expectations -- and delivered yet another lackluster quarter. The consensus forecast calls for the Redwood Shores, Calif.-based database giant to report that earnings fell 20% to 8 cents a share, from a profit of $549 million, or 10 cents a share a year ago. Moreover, several analysts issued downbeat reports about Oracle the eve of the announcement, and in one case, downgraded the entire enterprise software sector. "Although we believe Oracle has a strong database product, the recent strength in Oracle's stock price is not justified by current fundamentals," wrote Michael Marzolf, senior analyst with U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray. "We would be buyers of the stock closer to $10," he continued. Oracle closed down 28 cents, or 2.5%, to $11.02 a share Wednesday, 43% higher than its closing price of $7.70 on Oct. 7. Marzolf's firm has done banking for Oracle. Richard Williams of Summit Analytic Partners, a small research house in New Jersey, said the recent run-up of software stocks might reverse itself rather quickly. "We are cautioning our customers that current valuations in the software group may be unsustainable over the next six weeks until 4Q02 earrings reports are out. The sharp run-up in prices since October lows have built in expectations that are unrealistically optimistic given current conditions in the IT spending environment," he wrote in a note. Summit has no banking relationship with Oracle. Another early warning sign: The negative preannouncement from Manugistics ( MANU) earlier this month, in which the vendor of supply chain software warned that its third-quarter loss would be greater than expected as revenue continued to decline. Manugistics CEO Greg Owens said that software license fees for the quarter ended Nov. 30 would fall to as low as $14 million, a drop of about 37% from the previous quarter.