NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Citigroup downgraded Oracle (ORCL) to "neutral" from "buy" and set a $41 price target. The firm found little evidence to refute fundamental weakness, and said SaaS strength is not reflected in earnings numbers.
The stock was down 6.19% to $39.88 in pre-market trading on Friday.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates ORACLE CORP as a "buy" with a ratings score of A. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate ORACLE CORP (ORCL) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, notable return on equity and reasonable valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 25.29% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, ORCL should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
- ORACLE CORP has improved earnings per share by 7.7% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, ORACLE CORP increased its bottom line by earning $2.26 versus $1.97 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.91 versus $2.26).
- Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 7.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.9%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
- The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Software industry and the overall market, ORACLE CORP's return on equity exceeds that of the industry average and significantly exceeds that of the S&P 500.
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: ORCL Ratings Report