Oracle shares have plunged following the announcement that the company is not on target to meet its third-quarter expectations.
Shares have fallen by 15 per cent despite Oracle claiming that a slower than expected Asian market was to blame rather than the overall health of the company.
The news sent a shudder through Wall Street because the news could indicate a larger problem.
Oracle is widely seen as a yardstick for the large enterprise software market, and its performance has always been regarded a measure of corporate IT spending.
Analysts had expected Oracle to do better as the economy picked up. But in a sparsely worded statement, the company said it would miss its expected third-quarter earnings per share of 10 cents by one cent.
The statement added that Oracle would not provide further details until its scheduled earnings conference call on 14 March.
Chief executive Larry Ellison confirmed that, while software sales in the US and Europe increased slightly, a slowdown in Asia had hit profits.
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