Oracle Co. (NYSE:ORCL) saw a large growth in short interest during the month of January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 40,291,071 shares, a growth of 18.8% from the January 12th total of 33,913,735 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 16,197,680 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 2.5 days. Currently, 1.3% of the shares of the stock are short sold.

A number of research firms recently weighed in on ORCL. Vetr upgraded Oracle from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $51.77 price objective for the company in a report on Monday, February 5th. ValuEngine upgraded Oracle from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Instinet began coverage on Oracle in a report on Wednesday, January 24th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $51.12 price objective for the company. BMO Capital Markets decreased their price objective on Oracle from $57.00 to $55.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a report on Friday, December 15th. Finally, Oppenheimer restated a “hold” rating on shares of Oracle in a report on Friday, December 15th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and thirty have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $55.39.

Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) traded up $0.96 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $49.45. 14,248,077 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 16,974,512. The company has a market cap of $201,720.00, a PE ratio of 21.22, a PEG ratio of 1.84 and a beta of 1.08. The company has a quick ratio of 5.04, a current ratio of 5.07 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.03. Oracle has a one year low of $40.89 and a one year high of $53.14.

Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, December 14th. The enterprise software provider reported $0.70 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.68 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $9.63 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.57 billion. Oracle had a net margin of 25.48% and a return on equity of 20.49%. The business’s revenue was up 6.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.61 EPS. research analysts forecast that Oracle will post 2.68 EPS for the current year.

Oracle declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback plan on Thursday, December 14th that allows the company to repurchase $12.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the enterprise software provider to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 24th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, January 10th were given a dividend of $0.19 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, January 9th. This represents a $0.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.54%. Oracle’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 32.62%.

In other news, Director Naomi O. Seligman sold 45,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, January 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.34, for a total value of $2,310,300.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 62,498 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,208,647.32. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director Hector Garcia-Molina sold 3,750 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, December 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.40, for a total value of $181,500.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 18,125 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $877,250. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 1,952,500 shares of company stock valued at $98,130,250 over the last quarter. 29.00% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Keel Point LLC lifted its position in shares of Oracle by 0.3% during the 2nd quarter. Keel Point LLC now owns 5,349 shares of the enterprise software provider’s stock worth $268,000 after buying an additional 14 shares in the last quarter. Joel Isaacson & Co. LLC lifted its position in shares of Oracle by 0.3% during the 2nd quarter. Joel Isaacson & Co. LLC now owns 8,197 shares of the enterprise software provider’s stock worth $411,000 after buying an additional 24 shares in the last quarter. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC lifted its position in shares of Oracle by 0.4% during the 2nd quarter. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC now owns 8,110 shares of the enterprise software provider’s stock worth $404,000 after buying an additional 35 shares in the last quarter. Partnervest Advisory Services LLC lifted its position in shares of Oracle by 0.6% during the 2nd quarter. Partnervest Advisory Services LLC now owns 6,731 shares of the enterprise software provider’s stock worth $337,000 after buying an additional 39 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Hudock Capital Group LLC lifted its position in shares of Oracle by 1.6% during the 2nd quarter. Hudock Capital Group LLC now owns 4,062 shares of the enterprise software provider’s stock worth $203,000 after buying an additional 65 shares in the last quarter. 57.77% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Oracle

Oracle Corporation (Oracle) provides products and services that address all aspects of corporate information technology (IT) environments, including application, platform and infrastructure. The Company’s businesses include cloud and on-premise software, hardware and services. Its cloud and on-premise software business consists of three segments, including cloud software and on-premise software, which includes Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings, cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and software license updates and product support.

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