Radar Stocks: Oracle Edges Higher, Microsoft and HP Shake Off Tax Issues

Shares of Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) edged slightly higher in late afternoon trading. The company reported that first quarter earnings rose to $2.03 billion (41 cents per share), compared to $1.84 billion (36 cents per share) a year earlier. “On a non-GAAP basis, new software licenses and cloud software subscriptions sales grew 11 percent in constant currency and operating margin increased to 44 percent in Q1,” said Oracle President and CFO, Safra Catz. “Q1 operating cash flow increased to a record high of $5.7 billion. We’re off to a good start in the new year.”

Texas Instruments (NYSE:TXN) attracted attention in late afternoon hours, although shares are relatively flat. The company decided to increase its quarterly dividend to 21 cents per share from a prior 17 cents per share, representing an almost 24 percent increase. Texas Instruments said the hike is the result of improved operating cash flow.

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Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) shares closed 3 percent lower on Thursday, but bounced in late afternoon trading. The social media giant said it will start charging marketers for posting consumer offers, which function like coupon-like ads, according to the WSJ.

Shares of both Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) climbed higher in late trading, shaking off tax issues raised by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. The committee published an extensive report indicating U.S. tech companies have taken advantage of provisions in the tax code to avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes. While the Senate subcommittee does not plan to charge either of the companies, Senator Levin said the tax practices ranged from, “egregious to dubious validity.”

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