This introductory case considers the very sudden and large drop in market value of Oracle Systems' equity associated with two announcements in 1990. These announcements cause investors to revise their expectations about the future growth of Oracle Systems, perhaps the most rapidly growing U.S. corporation in the 1980s. The tasks for the student are to evaluate both the import of the announcements and the company's financial health. The case provides a first exercise in financial statement analysis and lays the foundation for two important financial themes: the concept of financial health and the financial economic definition of value and its determinants. The case also presents an interesting profile of an aggressive chief executive officer and suggests some potential unintended financial consequences of extreme aggressiveness.
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