NEW YORK — Shares of Oracle Corp. fell as much as 10 percent Wednesday, to its lowest levels since 1999, following negative analyst commentary and the departure of another senior executive.
Oracle, a Redwood Shores, Calif.-based software company, closed Wednesday afternoon at $9.45, down 59 cents, or nearly 6 percent. Earlier in the day, the stock was as low as $8.88. Oracle stock has fallen 34 percent this year, costing shareholders nearly $26 billion.
Neil Herman, analyst at Lehman Brothers, lowered his forecasts for the database giant’s fiscal fourth quarter, which ends May 31, and next fiscal year. In a research note to clients, Herman wrote “the chances of Oracle hitting consensus estimates for its May quarter are low.”
The current consensus calls for earnings of 13 cents a share and revenue of $2.76 billion, according to Thomson Financial/First Call. Oracle has fallen shy of estimates in each of the last two quarters as corporations have pared spending on technology.
Herman, who kept his buy rating on Oracle, now projects fourth-quarter license revenue will drop 39 percent from 2001 levels, rather than drop 28 percent. He predicts earnings of 11 cents on total revenue of $2.57 billion. He previously estimated earnings of 13 cents on revenue of $2.75 billion.