Oracle profit tops Wall Street forecasts, shares up


Business software maker Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq:ORCL - news) posted a quarterly profit on Tuesday that topped Wall Street forecasts as strong sales of new licenses for applications helped boost revenue, sending its shares up 5 percent.

Net income for the fiscal first quarter rose 29 percent to $670 million, or 13 cents per share, from $519 million, or 10 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue rose to $3.59 billion from $2.77 billion.

Excluding items, the company said it posted a per-share profit of 18 cents. Analysts on average were expecting the world's biggest database software maker to post a per-share profit before items of 16 cents on revenue of $3.47 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

Total software revenue rose 29 percent to $2.7 billion, led by an 80 percent gain in new license revenue from applications, compared with a Wall Street target for a 66 percent gain.

The Redwood Shores, California-based company said database and middleware new license revenue gained 15 percent while services revenue rose 33 percent to $846 million.

"We exceeded our guidance on every metric and delivered strong revenue growth across all product lines and geographies," Oracle Chief Financial Officer Safra Catz said in a statement.

The results come as investors are beginning to embrace the company's decision to spend some $20 billion over the past three years to push into the market for business applications as its core database software market matures.

Oracle shares have gained about 18 percent since June 15 when it first told investors of stronger-than-expected software license revenue for the fiscal fourth quarter. At the same time shares in its major rival, Germany's SAP AG (SAPG.DE), have fallen about 5 percent.

The company's shares jumped more than 5 percent to $17.01 in electronic trading from a Nasdaq close of $16.13.

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