Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Friday. The firm currently has a $54.00 target price on the enterprise software provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective points to a potential upside of 11.23% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Oracle is benefiting from significant momentum in the SaaS and PaaS offerings. This has also helped in improving the company's competitive position against salesforce.com and Workday. We believe the company’s growing cloud market share will continue to drive top-line growth for the foreseeable future. The stock has outperformed the industry on a year-to-date basis driven by these factors. We believe the company’s growing cloud market share will continue to drive top-line growth for the foreseeable future. Moreover, Oracle continues to win new customers in HCM, ERP and CX. However, higher investments on IaaS will affect gross margin expansion in the near-term. Further, a strong U.S. dollar remains a headwind.”

A number of other research analysts have also recently commented on the company. KeyCorp reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $61.00 price target on shares of Oracle Corporation in a research report on Tuesday, July 18th. MKM Partners reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $48.00 price target (up previously from $45.00) on shares of Oracle Corporation in a research report on Friday, June 23rd. Cowen and Company reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $55.00 price target (up previously from $48.00) on shares of Oracle Corporation in a research report on Thursday, June 22nd. Bank of America Corporation reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $62.00 price target (up previously from $54.00) on shares of Oracle Corporation in a research report on Thursday, June 22nd. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG upped their price target on Oracle Corporation from $44.00 to $48.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, June 22nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and thirty have given a buy rating to the stock. Oracle Corporation has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $50.81.

Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) traded up 0.21% during trading on Friday, reaching $48.65. 3,392,767 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Oracle Corporation has a 12 month low of $37.62 and a 12 month high of $51.85. The company has a market capitalization of $201.25 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.01 and a beta of 1.06. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $49.87 and its 200-day moving average is $45.65. Oracle Corporation also was the target of unusually large options trading on Tuesday. Traders acquired 19,908 call options on the stock. This is an increase of approximately 103% compared to the typical daily volume of 9,799 call options.

Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, June 21st. The enterprise software provider reported $0.89 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.78 by $0.11. Oracle Corporation had a return on equity of 20.90% and a net margin of 24.74%. The business had revenue of $10.94 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.45 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.81 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 3.3% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that Oracle Corporation will post $2.96 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other news, CEO Mark V. Hurd sold 350,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $49.76, for a total value of $17,416,000.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 553,891 shares in the company, valued at $27,561,616.16. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Hector Garcia-Molina sold 3,750 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.57, for a total value of $167,137.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 18,125 shares in the company, valued at $807,831.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 1,817,500 shares of company stock worth $91,560,925 over the last 90 days. Company insiders own 29.00% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Boston Partners increased its position in shares of Oracle Corporation by 20.1% in the first quarter. Boston Partners now owns 18,234,179 shares of the enterprise software provider’s stock valued at $813,427,000 after buying an additional 3,054,765 shares during the last quarter. BerganKDV Wealth Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Oracle Corporation by 2.3% in the second quarter. BerganKDV Wealth Management LLC now owns 11,586 shares of the enterprise software provider’s stock valued at $581,000 after buying an additional 255 shares during the period. Quotient Investors LLC boosted its stake in shares of Oracle Corporation by 263.2% in the first quarter. Quotient Investors LLC now owns 41,811 shares of the enterprise software provider’s stock valued at $1,865,000 after buying an additional 30,300 shares during the period. Gateway Investment Advisers LLC boosted its stake in shares of Oracle Corporation by 0.9% in the first quarter. Gateway Investment Advisers LLC now owns 1,867,556 shares of the enterprise software provider’s stock valued at $83,312,000 after buying an additional 17,458 shares during the period. Finally, Nadler Financial Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Oracle Corporation by 1.3% in the first quarter. Nadler Financial Group Inc. now owns 32,911 shares of the enterprise software provider’s stock valued at $1,468,000 after buying an additional 429 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 58.79% of the company’s stock.

About Oracle Corporation

Oracle Corporation (Oracle) provides products and services that address all aspects of corporate information technology (IT) environments, including application, platform and infrastructure. The Company’s businesses include cloud and on-premise software, hardware and services. Its cloud and on-premise software business consists of three segments, including cloud software and on-premise software, which includes Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings, cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and software license updates and product support.

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