Why Oracle Shares Got Crushed

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What: Shares of Oracle (NYSE: ORCL  ) have gotten crushed today by as much as 10%, after the enterprise software specialist reported worse-than-expected earnings.

So what: Revenue in the fiscal third quarter was $9 billion, which didn't compare favorably to the $9.4 billion in revenue that analysts were expecting. Non-GAAP earnings per share were up moderately, at $0.65, which was also a little short of the $0.66 per share adjusted profit that investors were expecting. Oracle President Mark Hurd said software-as-a-service, or SaaS, revenue more than doubled.

Now what: The company blamed the soft results on aggressive expansion of its sales force, which included many inexperienced representatives that led to poor execution. Oracle has added over 4,000 new sales reps over the past 18 months. Several analysts have downgraded Oracle following the results, including Evercore Partners and Credit Agricole. Guidance for the coming quarter calls for adjusted earnings per share of $0.85 to $0.91, compared to the $0.88 per share that the Street is modeling for.

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