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Vertical Expansion and MarTech Dominate Oracle’s Cloud Buying Spree

Posted on Friday, May 20th 2016

Over the past 10 years, Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) has spent more than $50 billion on making more than 100 acquisitions. While the year 2015 was a bit tepid on the acquisition front, it has made up for it this year by already announcing five acquisitions, three of which were announced over the past month.

Oracle’s Buying Spree

In February, Oracle announced its plans to buy virtualization firm Ravello Systems. Ravello enables enterprises to easily move large applications to the cloud. It is based in Palo Alto, but has a research center in Israel. Although terms of the deal were not disclosed, it is estimated to be worth $400 million to $500 million. Ravello was founded in 2011 and has raised $54 million from investors including Norwest Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital, and Bessemer Venture Partners.

Continuing its cloud focus on MarTech, Oracle in April announced its agreement to acquire machine learning-based marketing technology company Crosswise. Founded in 2013, the Israeli startup helps marketers and publishers track advertising, personalization, and analytics across devices. Crosswise is expected to strengthen Oracle’s Data-as-a-Service portfolio. Oracle already has a similar product called ID Graph. Adobe is planning to launch a new product called Cross-Device Co-op that will help brands link devices to their common user. Although terms of the deal were not disclosed, the Crosswise deal is estimated to be worth $50 million. Crosswise has raised $5 million from Israeli VCs including OurCrowd.

Vertical Cloud expansion is the new flavor of Oracle’s acquisition spree this year. On April 28, Oracle announced its plans to acquire cloud-based contract and payment management solutions company Textura for $632 million or $26 per share. Textura’s cloud services process $3.4 billion in payments for over 6,000 projects each month.

Within a week, on May 2, Oracle announced that it plans to buy Opower (NYSE: OPWR), a leading provider of customer engagement and energy efficiency cloud services to utilities like Exelon and National Grid. Oracle will be paying $10.30 per share in cash, amounting to $532 million. Arlington, Virginia-based Opower recently laid off 7.5% of its global workforce after a fourth quarter loss of $13.6 million.

Oracle’s vertical cloud expansion opens up the possibility of more such deals. Stifel analyst Brad Reback notes that SaaS players such as Castlight, Demandware, ChannelAdvisor, Paycom, Paylocity and Splunk are on their radar.

On the MarTech side, Oracle has made quite a few acquisitions in the recent past including web tracking company AddThis, marketing cloud company Maxymiser, data broker company DataLogix, data management platform BlueKai, Eloqua, and Responsys. Marketo (NASDAQ: MKTO), which is apparently exploring a potential sale, would be an interesting prospect for Oracle. Marketo has around 4,500 customers including big names like Best Buy, Citibank, Coca-Cola, Ford, Microsoft, and Pfizer. Its annual revenue increased 40% to $210 million in 2015. Its stock is trading at $26.86 at a market cap of $1.2 billion. Another possibility is ON24 that I have recommended for Marketo to acquire in the past.

Oracle’s Financials

Oracle’s third quarter revenues were down 3% over the year to $9 billion, missing the analyst revenue estimate of $9.12 billion. Net income fell 14% to $2.1 billion or $0.50 per share. Non GAAP EPS was $0.64, ahead of the market’s projected earnings of $0.62 per share. Oracle also declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.15 per share of outstanding common stock.

By segment, although total cloud revenues were up 40% to $735 million, they accounted for just 8% of total revenues. Within cloud revenues, Cloud SaaS and PaaS revenues were up 57% to $583 million and Cloud IaaS revenues were down 2% to $152 million. Total On-Premise Software revenues were $6.4 billion, down 4%. Total Hardware Revenues were $1.1 billion, down 13%. Total Services Revenues were down 7% to $793 million.

For the fourth quarter, Oracle expects revenue to range from negative 2% to a positive 1% and non GAAP EPS between $0.82 and $0.84. Analysts were expecting EPS of $0.82.

Its stock is currently trading at $38.84 with a market cap of $161.18 billion. It hit a 52-week low of $33.13 in January this year and a 52-week high of $45.24 in June last year.

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