Oracle's Mixed Message

An upbeat forecast for the current period and expectations for further growth countered fourth-quarter disappointments

An investor holding Oracle shares since the beginning of the year is sitting on a 12% gain. That's not bad, especially considering shares of software bellwethers Microsoft and SAP are down in the same period. Shareholders hoping for further appreciation will have to weigh Oracle's bullish outlook for the current quarter against the disappointing fourth-quarter U.S. sales it reported June 26.

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