Oracle's blow-out earnings caused over 20 Wall Street analysts to raise price targets

Larry EllisonOracleOracle executive chairman and CTO Larry Ellison is happy that his cloud business is showing real progress.

Cloud computing really is starting to breath new life into Oracle.

The company had blow-out Q4 2017 earnings Wednesday thanks to 58% year-over-year growth for the quarter in cloud.

A sunny outlook caused the stock to hit a 52-week high of $US51.85 on Thursday before settling down to about $US50 in the afternoon.

And that inspired 21 of 38 analysts surveyed by FactSet to predict that the stock will rise even higher, according to MarketWatch’s Tomi Kilgore.

Analysts, on average, now believe the stock will reach $US54.84, up from $US48.96 on Tuesday, before the company reported earnings.

Not that it was all good news. The cloud business is cannibalising the company’s biggest business: software. Total software revenues declined 1% to $US7.52 billion (with new software licenses declining 5%). And the hardware business continues to whither away, down 13% for the quarter.

But cloud is starting to pick up the slack. Cloud revenues were $US1.4 billion. And overall revenues were up and crushing expectations. Revenues climbed 3% to $US10.9 billion, compared to analyst expectations of $US10.45 billion, according to Thomson Reuters. It earned 89 cents per share, excluding items, compared to expectations of 78 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters.

For the full year, Oracle reported non-GAAP total revenues of $US37.9 billion, up 2%.

While these numbers certainly made for a buoyant Thursday, Oracle and analysts seem convinced at this point that Oracle’s cloud computing business will carry the company well into the future.

Analysts estimate non-GAAP revenues will climb to $US39.26 billion for its fiscal 2018 and to $US41.12 billion in 2019, according to Bloomberg data.

Oracle is also touting up some big-name customers moving to its cloud like the major agreement it announced with AT&T in May.

“AT&T has agreed to migrate thousands of existing Oracle databases containing petabytes of data plus their associated applications workloads to the Oracle Cloud,” said Larry Ellison, Oracle executive chairman and CTO, in a statement. “In the coming year, I expect more of our big customers to migrate their Oracle databases and database applications to the Oracle Cloud.”

NOW WATCH: There is a secret US government airline that flies out of commercial airports

NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at