Oracle topped Wall Street estimates for revenue and profit Thursday as it continues to turn its battleship in the direction of the cloud, but it didn’t move fast enough for some financial analysts and its shares dropped in after-hours trading.
For its second fiscal quarter, which ended Nov. 30th, Oracle reported $9.62 billion in overall revenue, up six percent compared to the previous year and ahead of analyst expectations of $9.57 billion. Net income was $2.23 billion, up 10 percent compared to last year’s second fiscal quarter, and earnings per share minus special items was $0.70, ahead of estimates of $0.68.
But the most important metric in Oracle’s financial results is its cloud revenue, as it scrambles to convert legacy database and enterprise-resource planning (ERP) customers over to cloud services. And there seemed to be some disagreement among financial watchers whether Oracle’s overall cloud revenue of $1.5 billion was good; Marketwatch reported that analysts were looking for $1.56 billion in cloud revenue, while Seeking Alpha noted that 44 percent growth in that category was ahead of guidance of 39 percent to 43 percent growth in the category.
The bears won, however, sending Oracle’s stock down six percent in after-hours trading. Oracle has been having a little more luck in the software-as-a-service category, which makes sense as it transitions ERP customers, but has made less traction against fast-growing public cloud providers like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, and Google when it comes infrastructure-as-a-service.
And everyone has noticed. Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison and AWS CEO Andy Jassy continued their multiyear public spat in the second half of the year, with Ellison railing against AWS database technology at Oracle OpenWorld in October while Jassy poked fun at Oracle’s notorious reputation among IT customers for wielding expensive long-term contracts during his AWS re:Invent 2017 keynote.