Source: Oracle Reorganizing Sales Force, Patching Relations with Hewlett-Packard
Oracle's (NYSE: ORCL) quarterly financials, to be reported when the market closes Wednesday, may not be the biggest news coming out the Redwood City, California computer tech company this week.
With analysts expecting only slight improvement over a year ago of about $0.67 per share on $9.2 billion in sales, the real news could be a plan to reorganize Oracle’s sales force as well as hints that the company may soon announce a new partnership agreement with rival, Hewlett-Packard.
Business Insider reported that JMP Securities director of technology research, Pat Walravens, provided the information. According to Walravens, the reorganization could begin as early as this week.
The main problem seemed to be one of too many sales reps in too small a territory.
One sales rep told Business Insider that the assigned area was less than 20 square miles saying, "My territory was extremely small. The amount of business I could call on, I exhausted that in amount of time I was there. They wanted you to keep calling those same companies. I'm not the kind of sales rep that's going to call on the same company over and over."
As to the rumored new partnership with Hewlett-Packard, Walravens said he expected an announcement that Hewlett-Packard has signed a contract for $150 million to renew its Oracle licenses.
Hewlett-Packard, which was a longtime partner with Oracle, soured on the company after Oracle bought Sun and became a competitor in the hardware market. Speculation was that the rumored new agreement might have more to do with the fact Oracle has not turned out to be a huge factor when it comes to hardware sales.
Meanwhile, Hewlett-Packard's shares have risen 93 percent this year, with CEO Meg Whitman seeing her salary bumped up to $1.5 million Tuesday from the $1 she had agreed to previously.
As for Oracle, a sales force reorganization and potential Hewlett-Packard partnership could help – but would not solve every problem. AllThingsD noted questions surrounding Oracle’s software, specifically accounting and HR offerings, and competition from new entries in the cloud such as Salesforce.com and Workday.
In a note to clients, Brad Reback of Stifel Nicolaus said that while Stifel Nicolaus expected Oracle to report results in line with analysts’ estimates Wednesday, “We believe demand for ORCL’s solutions has stabilized and the company is starting to see traction from its new sales hires and recently refreshed products.”
On a cautionary note, Reback added, “That said, we believe the demand environment remains challenging in pockets of the world and think the impact of having Thanksgiving fall so late in the quarter could limit upside.”
At the time of this writing, Jim Probasco had no position in any mentioned securities.
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