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March 20, 2020, 11:03 a.m. EDT

Oracle has suffered a 'lost half-decade' but now is the time to buy, says J.P. Morgan

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By Emily Bary

J.P. Morgan analyst Mark Murphy upgraded shares of Oracle Corp. /zigman2/quotes/202180826/composite ORCL -0.89% to overweight from neutral Friday, writing that the stock is better positioned than peers for a slowdown. "During an economic expansion phase, there is a lot of net new software spend to pursue, and Oracle has been left behind with subpar growth, as foreshadowed constantly by our survey work," he wrote. "However, the opposite is true when the economy slows, and the creative net-new software spend dries up: companies growing 70% can slow to 15% in a few quarters, and if they're starting from 30x revenues and an infinite cash flow multiple, there is essentially no floor below the stock. Oracle, in contrast, is advantaged by the stickiness of its software solutions." Murphy said that Oracle's stock has seen a "lost half-decade" with its stock "essentially flat lining since mid-June 2015 through yesterday" while the iShares Expanded Tech-Software ETF /zigman2/quotes/201870252/composite IGV +0.41% gained about 90%. "However, in our view everything that screens so 'wrong' with this stock in a bull market or economic expansion flips around if we apply the different lens that is required for the different type of environment we might be entering into," he wrote. Oracle's stock is up 1.8% in Friday trading. It's lost 18% over the past month as the S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.64% has dropped 27%.

/zigman2/quotes/202180826/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 55.50
-0.50 -0.89%
Volume: 6.63M
Aug. 5, 2020 4:02p
P/E Ratio
17.95
Dividend Yield
1.73%
Market Cap
$171.85 billion
Rev. per Employee
$289,197
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/zigman2/quotes/201870252/composite
US : U.S.: Cboe BZX
$ 302.02
+1.24 +0.41%
Volume: 799,083
Aug. 5, 2020 4:00p
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/zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime
US : S&P US
3,327.77
+21.26 +0.64%
Volume: 2.45B
Aug. 5, 2020 5:27p
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