Oracle Q1, 2019-2020: revenue flat, cloud progress vaunted

Oracle’s first quarter 2019-2020 results show revenue growth to be flat, but executives claim cloud headway and vaunt progress on autonomous database uptake. Co-CEO Mark Hurd takes leave of absence on health grounds

Oracle has announced first quarter 2019-20 revenue of $9.2 billion, slightly higher in US dollar terms compared to the first quarter of last year, but essentially flat, missing its target by $70m.

At the same time as the results were announced, it was reported that co-chief executive Mark Hurd is taking a leave of absence from the company for health reasons. The supplier’s founder, Larry Ellison, stated that he and co-chief executive Safra Catz will cover Hurd’s duties – which are mostly cloud applications-related – during his absence.

In a memo to employees, Hurd said: “Larry, Safra and I have worked together as a strong team, and I have great confidence that they and the entire executive team will do a terrific job executing the exciting plans we will showcase at the upcoming [Oracle] OpenWorld.”

Oracle co-CEO, Safra Catz said, in a statement on the results: “As our low margin hardware businesses continue to get smaller, while our higher margin cloud business continues to get bigger, we expect Oracle’s operating margins, earnings per share and free cash flow all to grow. We’re off to a good start in FY20, and we expect this to be our third consecutive year of double-digit non-GAAP earnings per share growth.”

Hurd said: “Our cloud ERP businesses, including both Fusion ERP and NetSuite ERP, grew 33% in Q1. We now have more than 6,500 Fusion ERP customers and more than 18,000 NetSuite ERP customers. This continued strong growth has solidified our number one market leader position in cloud ERP worldwide, and our number one position in the overall applications business in North America.”

Oracle CTO and founder, Larry Ellison, said: “Next week at our OpenWorld conference [in San Francisco], we will announce more Autonomous Cloud Services to complement the Oracle Autonomous Database. The Autonomous Database is the most successful new product in Oracle’s history. We added more than 500 new Autonomous Database cloud customers in Q1, and we expect to more than double that in Q2.”

The supplier does not report cloud numbers separately, and attracted financial analyst criticism for that last year. For the first quarter of financial year 2020, it reported, again blending the numbers: “Cloud services and license support revenues were $6.8bn, while cloud licence and on-premise licence revenues were $812m”.

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