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Must-See Earnings Event This Season

Oracle’s profit report is always a big deal on Wall Street. But this quarter it could be the must-see earnings event of the season.

Not only do analysts expect Oracle to put up strong numbers, the Street is also watching for some drama with CEO Larry Ellison expected to present his newest hire -- Mark Hurd, formerly the chief at HP.

The Drama

As you likely know Ellison hired Hurd under a cloud of scandal last month, which included claims of sexual harassment. (An investigation determined there was no violation of HP's sexual harassment policy, but did find violations of HP's standards of business conduct.).

On Thursday, Ellison may use earnings as an opportunity to detail what Hurd will do at Oracle, especially as the company integrates its acquisition of hardware-maker Sun Microsystems.

Hurd himself also will get the first chance to talk directly to Oracle investors, despite HP's attempts to block his move on the grounds that he will spill its trade secrets .

"The odds are pretty good that Hurd will make some kind of comment on the call," says Richard Williams, an analyst at New Jersey-based Cross Research, who thinks the move for Hurd was a boost for Oracle.

"His talent will be very useful in taking the Sun acquisition and driving value there. That whole Sun strategy is going to drive major change throughout the top 10 or 20 tech companies," said Williams.

Oracle, which competes with SAP AG and IBM with its business software and database products, also is vying with equipment makers such as HP after the Sun deal, as it looks to combine its hardware and software offerings. By producing the full "stack" of products and services for its customers, Oracle is trying to snag a larger share of technology spending.

The Numbers

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect Oracle to earn 44 cents per share on $6.47 billion in revenue for the quarter ended in May.

Analyst Tim Klasell of Thomas Weisel Partners wrote in a recent note to clients that he believes Oracle had a good finish to the latest quarter, in part because of a trend among businesses toward using fewer software vendors, which helps Oracle. Klasell expects improving results from North America, while the situation in Europe is "in flux."

* Hear more about Oracle from ISI analyst Heather Bellini. Watch the video above!



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Trader disclosure: On Sept. 15th, 2010, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Finerman’s firm owns (IBM); Finerman’s firm owns (ORCL); Finerman’s firm owns (HPQ); Finerman’s firm owns (JPM); Finerman’s firm owns (BAC); Finerman’s firm owns (BBY); Finerman’s firm owns (GLW); Seymour owns (AAPL); Seymour owns (MSFT); Terranova Owns (APA), (AAPL), (ARUN), (BMO), (C), (DO), (EOG), (FCX), (FTO), (XBI), (GS), (HES), (IBM), (JOYG), (NBR), (NOV), (OXY), (ORCL), (PEP), (POT), (RSH), (GLD), (SLB), (SWN), (SU), (SPLS), (RIG), (UPL); Jon Najarian owns (AAPL) call spreads; Jon Najarian owns (ARST) calls; Jon Najarian owns (CSCO) call spreads; Jon Najarian owns (RHT) call spreads

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