Oracle ( ORCL), a company that Wall Street loves to hate, gets another chance Monday to convince investors that it can once again build shareholder value. Over the last three years Oracle's stock has underperformed the leading indices and its competitors, appreciating by just 9% since the spring of 2003. The S&P 500, meanwhile, has returned a gain of 56%, the Nasdaq has grown 71%, and Oracle's German software rival SAP ( SAP) has surged 155%. Even Microsoft ( MSFT), often derided as a chronic underperformer, has returned 22% in the same period. Nothing that happens when Oracle reports its third-quarter results is going to make a huge difference to the stock in the short run, but for the first time in a while there's some feeling that the company has a chance to gain some traction. "The noise and customer confusion following all the acquisitions is quieting down," says Edward Moore, an analyst with the National City Private Client Group. The purchase that began the company's $13 billion (net cash) acquisition binge, PeopleSoft, closed more than a year ago, and the quarter will include three months of its revenue, along with a month of revenue from the more recently acquired Siebel Systems. Despite Oracle's huge expenditures to bulk up its applications business, Wall Street will be focusing on the company's foundation: the database business. "There's been some disappointment in the database business in the last few quarters," says Moore, whose company is long the stock. "It's important that growth accelerates again." Hitting that target won't be terribly easy. Oracle's database business grew by 12% in the third quarter of last year and 16% the following quarter -- both numbers that pleased Wall Street. Doing better than that in either of the next two quarters would help quell fears that were raised by the company's most recent -- and seasonally weak -- first and second quarters, which produced database growth of 2% and 5%, respectively. To view Street Insight's video preview of Oracle, please click here .