) to buy from neutral.
Analyst Mark Murphy says third-quarter total revenue and earnings per share were in line with his expectations. He notes the database-software maker seemed optimistic that its environment was improving gradually across geographies. Murphy says he's encouraged by Oracle's upbeat outlook for the database business, and its conviction that it would take share from IBM and Microsoft due to cost and the technological advantages of its grid-computing capabilities
Murphy says he finds Oracle's valuation to be compelling, vs. its high-quality peers, and believes it can trade to a p-e of 28 times his calendar 2005 earnings per share estimate, which is the basis for his $18 12-month target.