Oracle's cloud gains momentum, says analyst

Mark Hurd, co-CEO of Oracle
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Oracle may have been late to cloud computing, but it's determined to not get left behind. At least one analyst sees the leading business software vendor gaining momentum.

"While it is still early days in the cloud, our discussions in the field point to Oracle's ability to provide a comprehensive cloud foundation as a key determinant for customers signing on the dotted line," Daniel Ives, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets, wrote in a report on Tuesday. Ives has an "outperform" rating on the stock and a $48 price target, 11 percent above Monday's closing price of $43.40.

Oracle, which doesn't report earnings until next month, has been acquiring its way into the cloud in recent years, with the purchase of marketing automation company Eloqua, talent management software provider Taleo and customer relationship management software developer RightNow Technologies. In the latest quarter, sales in the cloud business increased 47 percent, compared with 3.5 percent for the whole company.

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Still, at $519 million in quarterly revenue, cloud represents just more than 5 percent of Oracle's business. In 2013, the company introduced the 12c database, designed to help information technology groups migrate to the cloud.

According to Ives, over the next 12 to 18 months the new database can help Oracle "penetrate its installed base as more enterprises strategically embark down their cloud paths."