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Oracle Announces $15 Billion Buyback Amid Coronavirus Fears

By John Ballard - Mar 13, 2020 at 9:55AM

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Management sees "minimal" impact in the near-term on its subscription software business.

On Thursday, Oracle (ORCL 0.84%) reported better-than-expected earnings results for the fiscal third quarter. One of the highlights was the announcement that the company would buyback an additional $15 billion worth of shares. Oracle bought back $20 billion over the last year. 

The stock is down 17% in the last week over fears about the COVID-19 outbreak that has infected 1,215 people in the U.S., as of March 12. However, the new share repurchase authorization should ease some investor anxiety about the health of Oracle's business. 

A woman holding a laptop with an outline of a cloud hovering above it.

Image source: Getty Images.

It's business as usual for Oracle

The software service provider reported revenue of $9.8 billion, up 3% year over year in constant currency. Non-GAAP (adjusted) earnings increased by 11% to $0.97 for the quarter. Both numbers came in ahead of analysts' expectations.

During the conference call, CEO Safra Catz said, "We are seeing a lot of momentum across our applications portfolio with GAAP applications subscription revenues at $2.8 billion, up 7%." Oracle's Fusion enterprise resource planning (ERP) cloud services revenue soared 37% year over year. 

Catz said that they are "conducting business as usual with some modifications, such as using video conferencing and asking our employees to postpone non-essential travel." 

While it's not clear how the virus will impact customers and suppliers, Oracle expects subscription revenue, which made up 61% of Oracle's business last quarter, to continue growing. The impact on subscription revenue should be "minimal," as Catz explained, since much of it is already contracted. 

Currently, management is calling for total revenue to be anywhere from down 2% to up 2% in the fiscal fourth quarter of 2020. Adjusted earnings are expected to increase between 3% to 9% in constant currency. 

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