Shares of Oracle Corporation Plunge on Weak Q4 Results

Enterprise software giant Oracle (NYSE: ORCL  ) just reported results for the fourth quarter and full year of its 2014 fiscal year. Following the after-hours report, Oracle shares fell as much as 8.7%.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, speaking at an event in 2013. Source: Oracle.

Oracle saw fourth-quarter sales rise 3% year over year, to $11.3 billion. Non-GAAP earnings increased 6%, to $0.92 per diluted share.

Analysts were looking for adjusted earnings around $0.95 per share on $11.5 billion in sales. Both of these targets turned out to be beyond Oracle's reach.

Cloud-computing services were a bright spot in Oracle's results. Software-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service sales increased 25% year over year, while infrastructure-as-a-service revenue grew by 13%. Oracle's management made a point of these rising cloud-based sales, which now make Oracle the second-largest software-as-a-service business in the world.

"We have by far the most complete portfolio of modern SaaS and PaaS products in the industry," said Oracle CEO Larry Ellison in a prepared statement. "We plan to increase our focus on the Cloud and become number one in both the SaaS and the PaaS businesses."

At the close of Thursday's regular trading session, Oracle shares had gained a market-beating 41% during the previous 52 weeks. The after-hours price drop brought Oracle shares back to levels not seen since the end of April 2014..

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