Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday.

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. Meanwhile, estimates have been stable lately ahead of the company's Q1 earnings release. The company has mixed record of earnings surprises in recent quarters. 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 firms also recently issued reports on ORCL. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $52.00 target price on shares of Oracle Corporation in a research report on Tuesday, July 25th. Pacific Crest reiterated an “equal weight” rating on shares of Oracle Corporation in a research report on Friday, June 23rd. MKM Partners reiterated a “neutral” rating and set a $48.00 target price (up previously from $45.00) on shares of Oracle Corporation in a research report on Friday, June 23rd. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group set a $63.00 target price on shares of Oracle Corporation and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, June 26th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $60.00 target price on shares of Oracle Corporation in a research report on Tuesday, July 25th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have assigned a hold rating and twenty-nine have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $50.81.

Oracle Corporation (NYSE ORCL) traded down 0.30% on Monday, reaching $49.09. 2,262,160 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The firm has a market capitalization of $203.07 billion, a PE ratio of 22.21 and a beta of 1.06. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $49.77 and its 200 day moving average price is $46.03. Oracle Corporation has a 52-week low of $37.62 and a 52-week high of $51.85.

Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, June 21st. The enterprise software provider reported $0.89 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.78 by $0.11. The firm had revenue of $10.94 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.45 billion. Oracle Corporation had a net margin of 24.74% and a return on equity of 20.90%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.81 EPS. On average, analysts predict that Oracle Corporation will post $2.95 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, Director Hector Garcia-Molina sold 3,750 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.57, for a total value of $167,137.50. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 18,125 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $807,831.25. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Thomas Kurian sold 750,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, July 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.46, for a total transaction of $37,845,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 783,533 shares in the company, valued at $39,537,075.18. 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 ninety days. 29.00% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Wealth Enhancement Advisory Services LLC bought a new stake in shares of Oracle Corporation during the third quarter worth $2,544,000. Boston Partners boosted 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 worth $813,427,000 after buying an additional 3,054,765 shares during the last quarter. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. boosted its position in shares of Oracle Corporation by 5,147.0% in the second quarter. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. now owns 1,122,744 shares of the enterprise software provider’s stock worth $45,953,000 after buying an additional 1,101,346 shares during the last quarter. First Quadrant L P CA boosted its position in shares of Oracle Corporation by 87.2% in the third quarter. First Quadrant L P CA now owns 877,305 shares of the enterprise software provider’s stock worth $34,461,000 after buying an additional 408,705 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Wetherby Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of Oracle Corporation by 0.4% in the fourth quarter. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. now owns 67,301 shares of the enterprise software provider’s stock worth $2,587,000 after buying an additional 248 shares during the last quarter. 58.67% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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