Changing customer purchasing habits and the rise of the cloud may cause revenue to decline.
Oracle is slated to report earnings for its fiscal third quarter of 2016 on Tuesday, and analysts aren’t expecting much.
Amid changing customer purchasing habits and the rise of cloud computing, the business technology giant—along with other legacy enterprise companies like IBM IBM 0.03% and Hewlett Packard Enterprise HPE 0.99% —has seen its sales slump in recent years. Analysts expect that trend to continue when Oracle ORCL 2.14% gives its investors an update on its financials.
Oracle is expected to report earnings of 62 cents per share on $9.13 billion in revenue, according to analyst estimates. This a bit of a drop from the 68 cents per share on $9.3 billion in sales that the company reported last year during its third quarter.
Oracle derives the bulk of its sales on its database technology, but as Fortune reported in December, that business unit has seen its sales flatten year over year.
To compensate, the company has been busy building up its cloud computing business unit, which the company said earned $652 million during its second quarter, representing a 30% year-over-year increase.
On Monday, JMP Securities issued a research report on Oracle’s upcoming earnings and noted that although Oracle’s cloud business is seeing progress, its overall business still facing significant challenges from the big cloud-computing providers like Amazon AMZN -1.32% and Microsoft MSFT -2.31% .
From the JMP Securities report:
Stepping back, we believe Oracle’s problem is this: while it is seeing strong growth in its SaaS cloud applications, demand is shifting away from its database, middleware, and hardware businesses as enterprises move workloads out of corporate data centers and into cloud infrastructure vendors like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.
The JMP Securities research report echoes a recent analyst report issued last week from the financial firm Nomura. Nomura analyst Frederick Grieb wrote, “While metrics for cloud revenue growth have been solid, investors remain concerned by what the potential cost will be to the legacy business, as well as the potential impact to margins during the transition.”
Still, not everyone is down on Oracle.
According to a Monday report in TheStreet, Evercore Partners analyst Kirk Materne recently upgraded the company to “buy.” Unlike the other analysts, he believes that Oracle’s cloud business will grow quickly enough to “more than offset any weakness in the company’s legacy software license business when projecting out to fiscal 2017,” said the report.