Oracle Corp. (ORCL) shares fell sharply Tuesday after the business software group posted weaker-than-expected sales for its fiscal third quarter as revenue from its newly developed cloud computing division missed Wall Street forecasts.
Oracle reported a net loss of $4.02 billion for the three months ended in February after the close of trading Monday, thanks in large part to a $6.9 billion charge linked to changes in the U.S. corporate tax code last year. Adjusted earnings of 83 cents a share topped Wall Street estimates, but a weaker-than-forecast $1.57 billion in cloud sales, as well as overall quarterly revenues of $9.77 billion, fell modestly shy of analysts' forecasts.
"During FY17, I forecast double-digit non-GAAP earnings per share growth for FY18," said Oracle CEO Safra Catz in a statement. "With non-GAAP earnings per share up 20% in Q3, our year-to-date earnings per share growth is now up to 16%. At this point, I feel quite confident that we will comfortably deliver on my original forecast of double-digit non-GAAP earnings per share growth for FY18."
However, given the sharp selloff in tech shares on Wall Street Monday, where the S&P 500 tech subindex fell 2.1% and Action Alerts Plus holding Facebook Inc. (FB) tumbled the most in four years, investors were marking Oracle shares significantly lower even on the back of modestly disappointing sales.
Oracle shares fell 9.34% to $47.10 at midday Tuesday, a move that wipes out all of the stock's year-to-date gains and drops it to the lowest level since the February market correction.
Oracle was also subject to a price target change from BMO Capital's Keith Bachman, who kept his "outperform" rating on the Redwood City, Calif-based group Tuesday but lowered his price estimate $2 to to $53 a share.
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