Oracle Corp shares dropped 14 percent on Wednesday, a day after the world's No. 3 software maker's weak quarterly results and disappointing outlook stoked renewed fears of a slowdown in global tech spending.
The company's quarterly profit and sales missed analysts' expectations, and it joined some of Wall Street's biggest technology names, including Hewlett-Packard Co, Intel Corp and Texas Instruments, that have warned of worsening business conditions.
Oracle weighed on the whole tech sector, with Teradata, VMWare, Salesforce.com and NetSuite among the biggest decliners.
Several brokerages cut their price targets on Oracle's stock.
Societe General downgraded Oracle to Hold from Buy and cut its price target to $28 from $32.
Although Oracle has solid fundamentals, we believe upside potential is currently limited, Societe General analyst Derrick Wood said.
NEW BUSINESS SLOWING DOWN
We have seen a dramatic deceleration in new business for Salesforce.com and slowing growth from Red Hat recently, J.P. Morgan Securities wrote in a note. This may be just the beginning of a long list of IT companies that struggle over the next quarter or more.
BofA Merrill Lynch, however, said Oracle was well positioned for the longer term.
The acquisition of Sun places Oracle as a datacenter player, providing a complete integrated stack of hardware and software, the brokerage wrote in a research note.
We expect Oracle to gain incremental revenue and cost synergies from the acquisition, resulting in higher EPS potential longer term.
Investors are watching Oracle's hardware division, which it added in 2010 with the acquisition of Sun Microsystems. Second-quarter hardware systems product revenue fell to $953 million (608 million pounds), missing the $1.06 billion expected by analysts polled by StreetAccount.
Oracle's shares were down 14.26 percent at $25.01 on Nasdaq.
(Reporting by Sayantani Ghosh in Bangalore; Additional reporting by Nicola Leske in New York; Editing by Joyjeet Das)