Back to top

Analyst Blog

Oracle Corp. (ORCL - Analyst Report) is aggressively building its position in the cloud-computing arena through strategic acquisitions. After acquiring cloud-based service providers RightNow Technologies in January and Taleo Corp in April this year, Oracle recently announced the acquisition of Eloqua Inc. for approximately $871.0 million.

Virginia-based Eloqua develops cloud-based automated marketing solutions. Eloqua software helps businesses monitor marketing and sales initiatives. Its tools are also used by marketing departments to analyze online behavior and buying preferences in order to find prospective customers.

According to Reuters, Eloqua has a strong customer base, which comprises Automatic Data Processing Inc. (ADP - Analyst Report), AON Plc, Dow Jones, Polycom Inc. and National Instruments Corp. The company also has an online sales partnership with Salesforce.com Inc. (CRM - Analyst Report), one of the major competitors of Oracle in the automated marketing software market. Eloqua earned revenue of $23.8 million in the recently concluded third quarter of 2012.

In August 2012, Eloqua completed its initial public offering (“IPO”) that generated net proceeds of approximately $87.7 million. Oracle’s offer price of $23.50 per share is double that of Eloqua’s IPO price of $11.50 per share and represents a 31% premium to its December 19 closing price of $17.92. Following the announcement, Eloqua share price surged 32.0% to close at $23.66 on December 20, 2012.

According to data from Bloomberg, Oracle’s offer price equates to more than 9 times Eloqua’s trailing 12 months sales, a premium compared to 6.3 times for RightNow and 7.1 times for Taleo. As Oracle is comparatively a late entrant in the cloud-computing market, we believe that the company is paying a premium to boost its product portfolio in order to catch up with Salesforce and IBM (IBM - Analyst Report).

According to market research firm Gartner, marketing is one of the four fastest growing areas of enterprise sales applications on the SaaS (software-as-a-service) platform. Gartner projects a robust increase in marketing spending due to improving e-commerce sales, higher adoption of social networks, rapid usage of mobile devices and improving marketing effectiveness.

We believe that higher spending on marketing bodes well for Oracle, as strong demand for Eloqua’s revenue performance management application will boost its top-line. Oracle intends to integrate Eloqua into its Oracle Marketing Cloud and it will be an important addition to Oracle’s customer experience portfolio.

We expect Oracle to continue pursuing strategic acquisitions of technology start-ups that can be easily synchronized with its product lines. These acquisitions will help Oracle to expand its customer base over the long term. The strategic acquisitions will also help Oracle to reduce competition by eliminating rival products going forward.

However, we believe that competition remains stiff for Oracle, which will limit its growth abilities going forward. Oracle’s hardware business continues to decline, putting massive pressure on the software side to perform consistently in order drive to growth. In such a scenario, cut-throat competition and sluggish IT spending will hurt profitability going forward.

We remain Neutral on a long-term basis. Currently, Oracle has a Zacks #3 Rank (Hold).

Please login to Zacks.com or register to post a comment.

New to Zacks?

Start Here

Zacks Investment Research

Close

Are you a new Zacks Member or a visitor to Zacks.com?

Top Zacks Features

My Portfolio Tracker

Is it Time to Sell?

One of the most important steps you can take today is to set up your portfolio tracker on Zacks.com. Once you do, you'll be notified of major events affecting your stocks and/or funds with daily email alerts.

More Zacks Resources

Zacks Rank Home - Evaluate your stocks and use the Zacks Rank to eliminate the losers and keep the winners.

Mutual Fund Rank Home - Evaluate your funds with the Mutual Fund Rank for both your personal and retirement funds.

Stock/Mutual Fund Screening - Find better stocks and mutual funds. The ones most likely to beat the market and provide a positive return.

My Portfolio - Track your Portfolio and find out where your stocks/mutual funds stack up with the Zacks Rank.

Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers for Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers

Company Symbol Price %Chg
GREEN PLAIN… GPRE 36.46 +3.79%
MATRIX SERV… MTRX 30.90 +2.93%
ENZO BIOCHE… ENZ 5.20 +2.77%
GENTIVA HEA… GTIV 15.82 +2.73%
VIPSHOP HOL… VIPS 191.34 +2.23%