Oracle Inches Up After Affirming Earnings Target

Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) gained 47 U.S. cents to $16.40, after a company executive said Oracle is standing by itstargets for flat fourth-quarter earnings.

Speaking to reporters in Sydney, chief financial officer Jeff Henleyreportedly said that the software giant was going to try to achieve earningsof 15 cents per share. However, he warned that it is difficult to gauge howmany deals would be turned into sales by the end of the quarter.

“We haven’t changed that (target), and expect to keep reminding peoplethere’s risk, more risk than normal, so it’s by no means certain,” Henleyreportedly said.

Analyst consensus estimates currently peg earnings to come in at 15 cents pershare for the period.

Henley also said that Oracle has factored slowing European sales into itsestimates.

“For the next couple of quarters, our performance won’t be asgood probably, relative to how we’ve done in the last couple of years,”Henley was quoted as saying.

In other news, Oracle announced Thursday that it has inked a deal withe-commerce image provider Getty Images. Under the deal, Oracle will provide key components of its e-business suite to Getty Images.

According to Getty Images, the use of Oracle’s e-business products will help it move to a a single, unified financial and order management environment and retire a number of legacy back-office systems. Getty Images also said that it expects to reduce its information technology costs through using Oracle’s products.

In recent months, Oracle has been hit with a batch of analyst downgrades andclass action lawsuits. The company has pinned its declining performance on the U.S.economy, saying the slowdown has affected it like virtually every otherinformation technology company.

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