Stock Market Today: Oracle’s $5 Billion Buy and FMC’s Profit Cut

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) has lost three points in pre-market trading, suggesting a flat start to the stock market today. World indexes fell slightly overnight: European shares were down 0.2% as of 8 a.m. EDT, while China's Shanghai index posted a 0.1% loss. Here's a look at breaking news stories that have Micros Systems (NASDAQ: MCRS  ) and FMC (NYSE: FMC  ) on the move this morning.

Oracle (NYSE: ORCL  )  today announced its entrance into the hospitality and retailing software industries by purchasing Micros SystemsThe takeover values Micros at $68 a share and will cost $5.3 billion. But Oracle had $17 billion in cash on its books as of Feb. 28, so it can easily fund a deal of that size. Oracle is also acquiring substantial growth in exchange for that cash: Micros posted an 11% sales improvement last quarter while also boosting its revenue and profit outlook for the year. CEO Peter Altabef said in a press release at the time that Micros was seeing "an improved demand environment for our solutions from current and new clients," which points to more sales gains in the near future. Micros' stock was up 3.3% in pre-market trading, while Oracle shares rose 0.6%.

FMC this morning cut its profit outlook for the year, blaming a pair of extreme weather incidents for the surprising shortfall. The chemical company said that frigid temperatures in North America lasted longer into the quarter than management had expected, which held back a recovery in its agricultural products such as corn insecticide. Additionally, drought in Brazil has pinched sales in FMC's sugarcane business, which won't recover this year, according to the update. The company now sees earnings of roughly $4.20 per share in fiscal 2014, compared to the $4.45 that it forecast in May. While that profit cut is disappointing, FMC investors should be used to weather issues making for occasionally volatile earnings from the company's agricultural business. The stock was down 1.5% in pre-market trading.


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