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Oracle Beats the Street

Oracle’s now got $34 billion in the bank; its stock hit a high of $33.45 after-hours

Oracle Tuesday came in with slightly better-than-expected results in its second fiscal quarter ended November 30. Revenues were up 3% to $9.1 billion, ahead of Wall Street’s consensus of $9.03 billion. Oracle’s own guidance had estimated an increase of zero to 4%. It cleared non-GAAP profits of 64 cents a share, up 19%, while the Street was at 61 cents, and Oracle’s guidance was 59 cents-63 cents. On a GAAP basis, the company earned 53 cents a share. Currency fluctuations reduced profits by a penny a share no matter how they’re calculated.

New software licenses and cloud software subscriptions revenues were up 17% to $2.4 billion.

Oracle president Mark Hurd (pictured) claimed, “Our cloud offering of HCM, CRM and ERP applications plus the Oracle database and Java platform services is the strongest and most complete in the industry. Already approaching a one billion dollar run rate, our cloud business will become much bigger over time.”

Apparently all geographies saw double-digit revenue growth in new software licenses and cloud subscriptions.

Hurd said, “Applications, middleware and database all had double-digit growth in new software license and cloud subscriptions, with applications leading the pack with growth of over 30%.” He said Java was up 34%.

Software license updates and product support revenues were up 7% to $4.3 billion.

The company claims it took share from its great rival SAP and is beating Workday, the cloud version of PeopleSoft, in the US and shutting it out in Europe.

Oracle upped its salesforce in the last four or five quarters supposedly without increasing costs and is still hiring in all regions.

Although hardware sales were down 12% to $734 million, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison claimed in a statement that “Sun has proven to be one of the most strategic and profitable acquisitions we have ever made. Sun technology enabled Oracle to become a leader in the highly profitable engineered system segment of the hardware business. I believe that products like Exadata and the SPARC SuperCluster will not only continue to drive improved profitability in our hardware business, by the end of this fiscal year, they will also drive growth in our hardware business.”

Ellison said Salesforce.com is one of its cloud customers.

President Safra Catz projected total Q3 revenue will be up 1%-5% on a currency-adjusted basis, or 2%-6% on a constant-currency basis. The mid- point would be about $9.44 billion, roughly where the Street is. She put EPS at 64 cents to 68 cents, on an adjusted basis, which is in line with the average 66-cent estimate.

Catz said new software license revenues should grow 4%-14% on a constant-currency basis and 3%-13% in reported dollars.

Hardware product revenue growth will range from a negative 10% to flat in Q3.

She said the company is having a wonderful December so far with money coming in even from federal customers. Apparently it’s experiencing a budget flush.

Oracle’s now got $34 billion in the bank. To avoid higher taxes on dividends next year, up from 15% this year, Oracle has accelerated its measly 0.7% dividend and will be paying out 18 cents a share in anticipation of the second, third and fourth quarters. Ellison, Oracle’s largest stockholder, for whose benefit this is really being done, will pocket $198.9 million pre-tax.

Oracle’s stock hit a high of $33.45 after-hours.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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