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3 things to watch when Oracle reports

3 key takeaways on Oracle

As Oracle prepares to report its quarterly earnings Wednesday afternoon, one analyst has made a checklist to gauge its improvement.

The cloud is front and center to Oracle's growth and a key part of the vision going forward, says Daniel Ives, an FBR Capital Markets senior analyst.

Ives, who has a "buy" rating and $44 price target on the enterprise software and computer hardware stock, acknowledged on CNBC's "Fast Money" that last quarter was a disaster.

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Secondly, he wants to see the company make a fiscal-first-quarter rebound.

Besides the cloud and improvement in the core business, the third factor on Ives' watch list is mergers and acquisitions activity.

"They've been radio silent after a decade of aggressive M&A, which has been a key part of their success, " Ives said. "Investors want to see if there's a change in tone... especially going into the company's user conference next month."

The Street expects Oracle to earn 52 cents a share on $8.53 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

Ives is forecasting an in-line quarter for Oracle and believes earnings will drive the stock higher.