Ahead of the Bell: Oracle’s 1Q results

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) ? When Oracle Corp. reports its quarterly earnings Tuesday, analysts will likely focus on the health of its server computer business.

Since Oracle bought Sun Microsystems for $7.3 billion last year, plunging into the server industry, its share of the server market has declined by a full percentage point. Oracle says the decline is by design and reflects its effort to shed its least-profitable deals.

Last week Pacific Crest Securities analyst Brendan Barnicle lowered his outlook on Oracle on lower forecasts for Oracle’s hardware and software lines.

But many analysts see Oracle as a stabilizing force in the changing information technology industry because of the consistency of its software-support contracts.

Analysts polled by FactSet expect Oracle to have earned 47 cents per share, excluding items, on $8.36 billion in revenue.