Is Oracle The Oracle of Bad Times Coming? Are Dark Clouds Still On The Retail Horizon?

When Oracle Tuesday (June 23) announced its quarterly earnings, Wall Street was excited as it was to mark the first major tech player to announce earnings that included May. That excitement quickly melted as Oracle posted its first revenue decline since 2002. New software licenses plunged 13 percent and services revenue fell 16 percent.

Given that Oracle is arguably the world's largest software vendor, those are not encouraging hints that the recession is about to be over. "Oracle isn't just competing against SAP, they're competing against companies delaying purchases," David Rutchik, a consultant with Pace Harmon LLC, told The Wall Street Journal. Rutchik was also quoted as saying that sales of Oracle's software take a long time to complete and that companies budgeted for many of the purchases made earlier this year before the stock market collapsed in October. That's both true and even more discomforting.